| You have the power to help save our farms and farmland. You can directly support Michigan farmers and farmers markets by taking these simple actions.
Keep the Focus on Farmland
In 2000 the State of Michigan passed legislation forming the framework for local farmland protection programs to develop. Since then, 20 counties in the state have passed county PDR ordinances and have established local agricultural preserve boards. At the same time, Michigan's state legislature established the state Agricultural Preservation Fund intended to provide cost-sharing to local programs created under this act - but in 2009, Governor Granholm eliminated the program. Read American Farmland Trust President Jon Scholl's letter to the governor, urging her to reinstate the Agricultural Preservation Fund.
Farmland Protection Is the Winning Ticket
American Farmland Trust has a successful history in Kent County, Michigan. With the support of community organizations, like
the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Frey Foundation, Steelcase Foundation and the Wege Foundation, we helped implement
a farmland preservation ordinance, the creation of an Agricultural Preservation Board, and conservation easements on several key farms. Listen to this story of two protected Kent County Farms Protected (audio).
The Local Way is a Win-Win for Kids and the Economy
The state of Michigan has passed legislation that will help schools purchase locally grown foods for meals and snacks by
increasing school budgets for purchasing local food and enhance opportunities for school officials and local food producers to build cooperative relationships. The law not only allows schools to purchase healthy, fresh, and local foods, but supports the local economy by keeping millions of tax dollars in the state. Megan Brown, deputy press secretary for the governor’s office, called the newly passed legislation “a win-win for our kids and the economy.”
study affirms tax savings for communities
AFT completed a Cost of Community Services (COCS) study for Calhoun County that showed protecting farmland in Calhoun County saved valuable tax dollars for residents. Keeping land in agriculture means that water, police and fire protection and education taxes remain low—cows don’t go to school and cucumbers don’t dial 911! As a result of our study, Calhoun County residents have begun to develop their own county level farmland protection program. more
promoting sound farming practices: helping farmers address today's clean water challenges
In collaborating with farmers, environmentalists, and policy makers, our Agriculture and Environment program protects water quality and reduces climate change while improving the economic viability of farming.
- Take action to support the BMP Challenge and help farmers decrease nitrogen applications and reduce fertilizer contamination of local watersheds.
- Send an AFT eCard and inspire family and friends to protect the environment.
keeping farmers on the land: improving access for family farmers to land and markets
American Farmland Trust (AFT) is working with farmers, planners and policy makers to ensure a regionally diverse structure for agriculture and more favorable economic conditions to keep farmers and ranchers on the land. Since most land use decisions are local, we work to create farm-friendly communities, demonstrate model approaches, educate partners and enact policies at all levels of government to support family farmers and keep land available and affordable for farming.
Michael J. Baise
2717 Blue Ridge Court
Bloomington, IN 47408
To learn more about agriculture in your state, visit the Michigan state profile page at the Farmland Information Center.