Washington, D.C., January 18, 2006—American Farmland Trust (AFT) and Coleman Natural Foods (CNF), the largest all natural meat company in the United States, today announced that they have produced the Rocky Mountain Agricultural Landowners Guide. This guide is designed to provide ranchers and farmers in seven western states with the vital information and the tools required to protect their land and operations investment, and help combat the annual loss of more than 127,000 acres of U.S. agricultural land in seven Rocky Mountain states to expanding development, an area equivalent to almost two-and- a-half Mesa Verde National Parks.
Farmers and ranchers in the Rocky Mountain region hold together an increasingly fragmented landscape. Rising land prices, shifting demographics and sprawling development have all affected the viability of farming and ranching in this region. The critical new guide is available today to farmers and ranchers in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
“Western farmers and ranchers need ways to stay economically viable and protect the investment they have in their land and operations,” said Ralph Grossi, president of AFT. “In partnership with Coleman Natural Foods, we developed this guide to educate landowners about the variety of public programs and private options available to farmers and ranchers who want to conserve their land and improve its productivity.”
The Rocky Mountain Agricultural Landowners Guide is a result of the Coleman Eco-Project 2015, a unique 10-year partnership between AFT and CNF to address the critical need to protect working farms and ranches. The goal of the AFT-CNF partnership is to facilitate the placement of 50 million acres of farm and ranch land under sound stewardship and sustainable management practices by 2015.
“We’ve undertaken this effort as part of our continuous effort to promote a holistic approach to food production, grassland and rangeland management. The goal is to improve the long-term economic viability for future generations of America’s family farms and ranches,” said Mel Coleman, Jr., chairman of Coleman Natural Foods.
To obtain a copy of the guide, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, call 800-370-4879 ext. 27, or download a free [PDF] version at www.farmlandinfo.org.
Coleman Natural Foods, headquartered in Golden, Colorado, is the largest all natural meat company in the United States. For more information: www.colemannatural.com. Coleman Natural Foods is wholly-owned by the Vail, Colorado, headquartered Booth Creek Management Corporation.
American Farmland Trust is the nation's leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Since its founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, AFT has helped save millions of acres of farmland from development and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more.
AFT's national office is located in Washington, DC. Phone: 202-331-7300. For more information, visit www.farmland.org.