Fertile soils take thousands of years to develop. Once they are gone, they are lost forever.

Farm and ranch land is not just land – it contains a vastly complex, living world beneath the surface. One tablespoon of healthy soil contains billions of beneficial microorganisms.

For America's farmers and ranchers, the soil beneath their feet is the foundation of their success – it's a life-giving force that grows the food to sustain our nation.

At American Farmland Trust, we think saving farmland by the inch is just as important as saving it by the acre.

Why are farms and ranches so important for the environment?

What are the challenges?

AFT's Role

With the global population expanding rapidly in the face of a changing climate, protecting America's soil becomes a matter of national security.

Without high-quality soils, we can't feed ourselves.

American Farmland Trust works to protect the soil and keep it healthy – as part of our holistic approach to keeping the nation's farm and ranch land productive for all.

Our initiatives help farmers conserve soil, adapt to a changing climate and provide environmental solutions for America.


  • Gives farmers and ranchers the tools to adopt proven conservation practices without risk to their livelihoods
  • Advocates for conservation policies that benefit the land and soil
  • Develops innovative, landscape-scale strategies to support conservation
  • Educates farmers on important conservation measures like cover crops