Farmland Information Center (FIC) is a clearinghouse for information about
farmland protection and stewardship. The FIC is a public/private partnership
between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and American
Farmland Trust (AFT,) which was authorized by the federal Farmland Protection
Policy Act (FPPA).
The FPPA was the first federal law to address the loss of productive agricultural land to non-farm development. Its purpose is to minimize the extent to which federal programs contribute to the unnecessary conversion of farmland to nonagricultural uses. It also creates a public education role for USDA by directing 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." The FIC is an outcome of that directive.
In 1994, NRCS entered into a cooperative agreement with AFT to develop and maintain this farmland information center. The FIC provides an online collection of laws, literature and technical resources on farmland protection and stewardship. In addition to this Web site, information specialists provide reference materials and basic technical assistance by phone, fax and email free of charge. Extended research services are available for a fee. In addition to responding to requests for information, FIC staff monitor and report on farmland protection activities, and identify, acquire and develop materials for the FIC.
The FIC is
affiliated with the National
Agricultural Library and 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
provides online access to agricultural information.