The FIC is a learning center for people working to save farm and ranch land. The FIC is a project of American Farmland Trust (AFT) maintained on behalf of and with support from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
We respond to requests for information by phone, e-mail and mail. Our team of experts has more than 50 years of combined experience in farmland conservation. We provide reliable, accurate information. We supply statistics, review plans, easements and ordinances; recommend applicable model laws or documents; and make referrals to other farmland protection entities.
We also produce educational resources to help educate key audiences and answer requests for information. We analyze key data sources and track farmland protection activity nationwide including our annual survey of purchase of agricultural conservation easement (PACE) programs. Answer service staff help policymakers identify applicable models and explain how they work. The FIC website offers a comprehensive collection of resources about permanent farm and ranch land protection, on-farm conservation and agricultural viability.
Our online learning center includes fact sheets, articles and reports; federal, state and local laws and legislative updates; sample documents; statistics, including figures from the National Resources Inventory and the Census of Agriculture; and multimedia resources.
The FIC serves agricultural landowners, concerned citizens, planners, local officials, state agency staff, land trusts and policymakers. FIC answer service staff inform landowners about farmland protection options and conservation programs to improve on-farm stewardship. We help communities and states create new or improve existing policies and programs to reduce agricultural land conservation, permanently protect land and support the business of agriculture.
The FIC is authorized by the federal Farmland Protection Policy Act (FPPA), the first federal law to address the loss of productive agricultural land to non-farm development. The purpose of the FPPA is to minimize the extent to which federal programs contribute to the unnecessary conversion of farmland to nonagricultural uses. It also directs the Secretary of Agriculture to "…designate one or more farmland information centers to serve as central depositories and distribution points for information on farmland issues, policies, programs, technical principles, and innovative actions or proposals by local and State governments." AFT and NRCS have worked together since 1994 to fulfill this requirement.
The FIC is a member of the Agriculture Network Information Center (AgNIC), an alliance of the National Agricultural Library, land-grant university libraries and other organizations that provide online access to agricultural information.
Our information specialists provide technical assistance by phone, fax or e-mail free of charge. We provide more in depth research assistance on a contract basis. Contact us at our toll-free number (800) 370-4879 or send your question using our online request form.