Farmland At Risk
According to the American Farmland Trust, the US lost 31 million acres of farms in the last 20 years. That’s three acres of farmland per minute. Right here at home, we lose farms every year. The soils in our region are some of the best in the world and it takes generations to build healthy soils. When a farm is lost, we lose those soils forever. We also lose access to fresh, healthy, local food, and our agricultural heritage.
Farmers are an important part of the Western New York community. For many of us, farmers are our friends and neighbors. They care for their animals through the long, cold winter. In the spring and summer, they spend long days cultivating the soil, and tending and picking the fresh local produce we love. As summer turns to fall, their bountiful harvests find their way to our holiday dinner plates. Year-round, our farmers face many obstacles, from challenging weather like droughts and floods to challenging economic times. Still, they persevere and keep our heritage alive. Their tireless work keeps local healthy food on our tables and connects us to the land that sustains us all.
The Land Conservancy works with local farmers to protect their land by purchasing the land’s development rights and placing a conservation easement on the land. A conservation easement is a legal agreement between the Land Conservancy and a private landowner that limits future development. Conservation easements protect the land while still allowing farmers to own, live on, and use their land for agriculture.
By protecting Western New York farms, we aim to help farmers keep their land in agriculture forever and to ensure that our region will always have access to fresh local food.
Are you interested in protecting your farmland?