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Grant Opportunity! For Minnesota Growers to Reduce Pesticide Reliance

Snapshot of Minnesota Agriculture

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


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 Minnesota has been losing more than 30 acres of farmland per day? You have the power to help save our farms and farmland. You can directly support Minnesota 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.

Improving Water Quality in Midwestern Watersheds

Ankeny-LMW-110112.jpgOn October 31 and November 1, American Farmland Trust, Sand County Foundation, Iowa Soybean Association and The Nature Conservancy convened the third meeting of leaders involved with water quality projects in the Midwest. Forty-four leaders from Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois exchanged information about their USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) projects. The group discussed ways to engage farmers, target efforts and scale up pilot efforts into broader initiatives. Overall, they identified two trends for project success: completing a watershed plan with local farmers and using performance-based tools that provide feedback.

Strengthening Farmland Protection Policies in Minnesota

cow in green pastureThe Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Inc., recently announced the release of a new and timely report, Preserving Minnesota’s Agricultural Land: Proposed Policy Solutions [PDF]. This report analyzes Minnesota’s current laws and practices regarding farmland preservation, suggests steps the state can take to strengthen and streamline existing programs, and recommends new tools the state can adopt to better preserve farmland. Situated in the middle of the Corn Belt, Minnesota is an important agricultural state. It ranked sixth in the nation in overall farm production in 2009. It is also projected to grow by more than 1 million people in the next 20 years. “Like the rest of the nation, Minnesota has seen significant loss of farmland—more than 465,000 acres since 1982—due to development surrounding growing cities. But it has no statewide plan or vision for protecting its farmland,” says Julia Freedgood, American Farmland Trust’s Managing Director, Farmland and Community Initiatives. “The proposed policy solutions are thoughtful and relevant and an important first step.”

Boy in CornfieldMidwest: The Year in Review

American Farmland Trust has fought to protect farmland in the Midwest for 27 years.  Sometimes called America’s breadbasket, the Midwest is blessed with prime farmland soils that are the envy of the world, but we know we can’t afford to take these priceless resources for granted.  That’s why we’ve been hard at work in this important region, and have made significant progress over the past year

Sauk River Ecosystem Services Project

Butterfly and waterEnvironmental incentive markets—new “markets” that help farmers improve the environment while also expanding their sources of income—are emerging for water quality, endangered and threatened species habitat, and renewable fuels. AFT’s Sauk River Ecosystem Services Project brings new enthusiasm to soil and water conservation by promoting land use Best Management Practices (BMPs) and establishes a "stackable" credit market of water quality trading and carbon trading to fund these BMPs. Not only is it important to promote these best practices from an environmental standpoint but also from an economic standpoint for Minnesota farmers.

The Sauk River is one of the areas targeted by AFT's Agriculture & Environment campaign to demonstrate agriculture's role in improving water quality.

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 Minnesota state profile page at the Farmland Information Center.

American Farmland Trust