Farmers often say that the best way to protect farmland is to ensure that farming is profitable. Many farmland protection programs are designed to prevent development of productive land. Protecting the land base is an investment in the infrastructure of agriculture. Building and maintaining a strong agricultural economy is just as important to the viability of farms and ranches. An increasing number of states, communities, organizations and producers are promoting investment in agriculture through loan and grant programs, the development of high-value agricultural products and services, direct marketing of farm products and diversification. This fact sheet provides basic information about agricultural economic development.