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Leelanau County farmers develop a PDR program (audio)

Snapshot of Michigan Agriculture

Farming on the Edge: Michigan Farmland in the Path of Development

Between 1982 and 1992, Michigan lost approximately 854,000 acres of farmland, or 85,000 acres per year, which is comparable to losing the area of 3.75 Michigan townships per year.

The Apple as Planet Earth Presentation
The Apple As Planet Earth

Do you know how much of the earth is suitable for farming? Watch the video and learn why protecting our farmland is so important.

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Did you know that the state of Michigan has been losing about 50 acres of farmland per day? 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.
Apple Support your local farmers by buying direct at farmers markets, farm stands, and CSAs.
Apple Spread the No Farms No Food® message by requesting a free bumper sticker.
Apple Be a part of the movement calling for healthy farms, healthy food and healthy communities and donate to help us save the land that sustains us.

Michigan fresh produceKeep 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).

Michigan farmlandThe 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

Protecting Our EnvironmentIn 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.

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Contact Us
Michael J. Baise
Midwest Director
2717 Blue Ridge Court
Bloomington, IN 47408
(317) 508-0756

To learn more about agriculture in your state, visit the Michigan state profile page at the Farmland Information Center.

American Farmland Trust