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Farmland Trusts www.farmland.org. The issues  America is losing 1.2 million acres of farmland annually (farmland.org)  Most of which is very productive.

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Presentation on theme: "Farmland Trusts www.farmland.org. The issues  America is losing 1.2 million acres of farmland annually (farmland.org)  Most of which is very productive."— Presentation transcript:

1 Farmland Trusts

2 The issues  America is losing 1.2 million acres of farmland annually (farmland.org)  Most of which is very productive and near were most people live (farmland.org)  Government supports agro-business rather than farmers or crops that need help the most- this also decreases the diversity of food we eat and contributes to unhealthy, inhumane farming practices

3  Reduction of local farmland increases the carbon footprint of the food we eat  Bottom line- small farms can’t compete and sell off land to developers

4 Why is saving Farmland Important?  US farming system contributes $1 trillion to the economy and 13% of GDP. Saving farmland is a good investment for the country (farmland.org)  Farmland provides food and cover for wildlife, helps control flooding, protects wetlands and watersheds and maintains air quality, etc.(farmland.org)  Quality of life in communities… healthy food, landscape, jobs, recreation, supports local ecosystems  Fiscal Stability for Local Governments (farmland.org)  The list goes on…

5 What is a farmland trust?  Farmland Trusts are like any other land trusts which “are organized as charitable organizations under federal tax laws, are directly involved in conserving land for its natural, recreational, scenic, historical and productive values. Land trusts can purchase land for permanent protection, or they may use one of several other methods: accept donations of land or the funds to purchase land, accept a bequest, or accept the donation of a conservation easement, which permanently limits the type and scope of development that can take place on the land. In some instances, land trusts also purchase conservation easements. “ (Land Trust Alliance)accept donations of landconservation easement

6 What is a land easement?  “A conservation easement (or conservation restriction) is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. It allows you to continue to own and use your land and to sell it or pass it on to heirs.” (Land Trust Alliance”

7 Con’t  “a conservation easement can be essential for passing land on to the next generation. By removing the land's development potential, the easement lowers its market value, which in turn lowers estate tax. Whether the easement is donated during life or by will, it can make a critical difference in the heirs' ability to keep the land intact.” (Land Trust Alliance)

8 Other Farmland Trust functions  Advocacy  Education  Lobbying  Policy reform Changing the Farm Bill and the structure of subsidy program  (want to talk about this in terms of subsidies as a commons all by itself??)

9 Conclusion  Farmland/land trusts are fantastic templates when exploring management options of other common assets  Farmland trusts are essential to the wellbeing of the environment, animals, and future generations

10 References  American Farmland Trust Farmland.org  The Land Trust Alliance  Capitalism 3.0  Vermont Land Trust


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