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Check out our Farmland
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MARYLAND
New Grant Opportunity
May Help Farmland Protection Efforts in Bay
A new grant
program seeking to protect native trout in the Chesapeake Bay may have positive implications for
farmland protection in the region. Trout Unlimited recently announced its inaugural
round of applications for the Chesapeake Bay Coldwater Land Conservancy Fund.
Funding will support landowners, land trusts and conservation organizations in their efforts to acquire conservation easements
that benefit brook trout
habitat. Applications are due December 30,
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN NEW ENGLAND
Transfer Training Through New
Do you help
farm families address farm succession and transfer planning? If so, you
may be interested in a training being offered on November 17 by the Farm
Transfer Task Force of the Land Access Project. The training is intended
to guide farm transfer planning practitioners through best practices, planning
approaches and challenges, use of farm transfer planning teams, and farm
transfer planning resources in the region. For more information
or to register for the workshop, visit the Land
For Good website.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN NEW YORK
Sweet Corn and Clean Water: Working with
Farmers to Protect Long Island Sound
We recently received a $150,000 grant from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund to work with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and AgFlex, Inc. to help farmers protect water quality in Long Island Sound. The project, which involves farmer outreach and education, on-farm demonstrations, and risk protection options for participating producers, could help sweet corn farmers in Suffolk County reduce the amount of fertilizer flowing into Long Island Sound by up to 38 percent.
2012 No Farms No Food® Rally —February 15, Albany
Put it on
your calendar! Our third annual No Farms
No Food® Rally will be held in Albany on February 15, 2012. Join farmers,
food advocates, local officials, environmentalists and other New Yorkers at the
State Capitol to urge state leaders to support funding and legislation that
protects farmland and the environment, increases the availability of nutritious
food grown in New York
and strengthens the farm and food economy. Bus transportation roundtrip from New York City to Albany
will be available. Online registration is coming soon! In the meantime, check out last year’s rally.
Development Draft Plans to be Released
Regional Councils for Economic Development are unveiling their draft plans to
stimulate economic development and job creation. As these proposed plans are
finalized, we need your help to make sure the Regional Councils
understand that the business of agriculture is critically important to our
economy, land base and food security. These councils, launched by Governor
Cuomo in July to bring state government and business leaders together to
address economic challenges, are coordinating efforts across New York to
compete for up to one billion dollars in state economic aid. Visit our Regional
Economic Development Councils resource page for links to the draft plans
and directions for submitting public comment to help support the inclusion of
farms and farmland in the final version of the proposed plans.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
Farmland Losses, Continued
much good to say about the economic downturn, but it has brought a welcome lull
to farmland conversions in the Pacific Northwest.
This may be coming to an end. In Pierce
County, Washington, a proposal to convert 180 acres of prime farmland to a
new shopping mall and subdivision was recently approved. While the County
Council expressed support for farmland protection, the lure of construction
jobs was overwhelming with a final 7-0 vote in support of the proposed urban
expansion. There are two similar proposals in Skagit County, Washington,
and we’ve joined with other farm and smart growth organizations in opposition
to the projects. We are also preparing economic and jobs arguments for
preserving farmland in anticipation of the next "land rush" as we
slowly come out of the recession.
Puget Sound Foodshed Study
We are a
month into our study of the Puget Sound Foodshed with the assistance of a dozen
University of Washington graduate students and a top-flight
advisory committee. The study is looking at food production and consumption in
the 17 counties west of the Cascade Range using models such as our Think
Globally, Eat Locally: San Francisco Foodshed Assessment. The study
will identify the potential of local farmland to produce additional food for
the region and the changes in production, processing and distribution needed to
local farmers to local consumers.
Evaluating the Most Endangered Farm
and Ranch Landscapes
Northwest office is also in the midst of an analysis of the most endangered
farm and ranch landscapes of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and
Using land use data, a media scan, interviews, and other research, we are
evaluating farm and ranch landscapes throughout the region to determine
which areas are most at risk from urban sprawl, rural estates, competition
for water, and water and soil pollution. Initial results of county-level
analysis in Washington
shows there are areas
in need of improvement as farmland continues to disappear. We will
reach out to local groups in the second phase of the analysis to confirm the
issues and offer support in addressing the threats.
What Is at Stake in the Next Farm
is inevitable in U.S.
farm and food policy, and recommendations are coming in at a rapid rate for
what the next farm bill should look like. The 2012 Farm Bill presents a critical
opportunity for the nation to confront the food, farm, energy and environmental
challenges it faces. Agenda 2012: Transforming U.S.
Farm Policy for the 21st Century builds on our pioneering work
from previous farm bills as we continue to seek innovative ways to protect
farms, the environment and farmland. Dig deeper into our policy recommendations
and analysis at www.farmbillfacts.org, or get a quick overview of the
current federal policy climate with our Farm Bill 101.
Elections and Farmland Protection
Each year, our
Farmland Information Center
surveys the purchase of agricultural conservation easement programs at the
state and local levels. This year’s survey found 25
states with state-level programs and an additional 93
independently funded local programs spread among 21 states. All told, 35
states have some type of this easement program activity at the state or local
level and have invested more than $4.7 billion to acquire 15,774 easements and
permanently protect more than 2.5 million acres. Each year, dozens of state and
local governments vote to raise public funds in support of land conservation.
Thanks to The Trust for Public
Land, you can
track how ballot measures fared in your state or community this year.
Meeting the Demand for Local Food
rising popularity of healthy, local food presents an important opportunity to
support the livelihood of farmers and ranchers. But as our New England Project
Manager Leah Mayor explains, the affinity for
local must move “Beyond the Plate” to ensure that working lands remain.
In fact, a recent bill
introduced to Congress by Rep. Pingree (D-ME) and Sen. Brown (D-OH) seeks to expand
opportunities for local and regional farmers to connect with consumers.
We're continuing our work across the country to help ensure that farms and ranches thrive while meeting increasing demand for local, fresh and healthy
food through programs such as our upcoming webinar series on local and regional food system planning.
AROUND THE COUNTRY
Food Security Summit will be held in Charlottesville from December 5 to 6. Food
trends from the national to local level will be discussed, as well the
development of a Virginia Farm to Table plan.
Dennis Nuxoll, our Managing Director, Federal
agriculture and policy leaders from across the country in Fargo, North Dakota, for Sen. Conrad’s (D-ND)
summit on “2012 Farm Bill: Issues and Challenges.”
A chain of Washington, D.C., eateries is finding ways
to strengthen the local food distribution chain as they expand their number
of restaurants while still meeting their vision of supporting local farmers.
opportunities are available for farmers and ranchers seeking to pursue
sustainable agricultural practices in the North Central region—spanning from Minnesota and North Dakota
The University of California, Davis, recently announced a new
undergraduate program in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems.
just announced its publication
of street addresses and geocodes for more than 6,200 farmers markets in the
United States. Now you can access
your favorite markets with the touch of a cell phone key.
farm couple converted
their old plowed land into a grass-fed cow “oasis” while preserving native
trees, shrubs and species. Their revised landscape also helps to reduce soil
erosion and water pollution, which in turn brings additional species to their
conjunction with the University
and the Governors Office of Agriculture, a new
online resource was created for Kentuckians to have easier access to
locally produced food. The page also includes nutritional, economical and
A new study
conducted in the Southeast found
prices at farmers markets are highly competitive with those at grocery stores.