The presentations in this session from American Farmland Trust's Farmland, Food and Livable Communities Conference discuss how public farmland protection programs help farmers gain access to land. Find out about some cutting edge programs including the Delaware Young Farmers Farmland Purchase and Preservation Loan Program, Maryland's Critical Farms Program, Equity Trust''s Hudson Valley Farm Affordability Program, and Massachusetts' Option to Purchase at Ag Value.
The Delaware Young Farmers Loan Program helps young farmers buy land while protecting it from future development. The program, administered by the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation, provides no-interest loans for land acquisition in exchange for a permanent agricultural conservation easement on the land be purchased.
The mission of the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) is to build a more sustainable, healthy, and equitable food system for the region. They organize, support, and mobilize a 12-state network of organizations and individuals to ensure the strategic impact of a collective voice as they take action toward common goals. Their work strengthens and coordinates the work of hundreds of other organizations by building synergy among them and aligning resources to achieve systemic change at all levels.
This law establishes the Delaware Young Farmer Purchase and Preservation Loan Program.
This paper explores why agriculture and food system policy needs to pay more attention to regions. Regionalism, which urges a move from sector-based to place-based policymaking, has emerged as a powerful principle in public policy. Applied to agriculture and food policy, it acknowledges the regional diversity of the U.S. farm and food system and enables important differences between regions to be articulated and addressed more explicitly in the policy making
Ongoing farmland loss has led county planners to ask “is there a critical mass of farmland needed?” to retain a viable agricultural sector. This study examines whether counties lost farmland at a faster rate if the number of agricultural acres fell below a critical threshold. Results from six Mid Atlantic states over the period 1949 to 1997 indicate that counties with fewer agricultural acres lost farmland at a faster rate.
The critical mass concept is based on the idea that a certain amount of agricultural activity must be sustained in order for the agricultural economy in an area to remain viable. As production levels decline below a given threshold, costs will rise, and support businesses will close or relocate. If the input and output firms exit the region, the closest input supplier may not only be farther away for a farmer but may also charge higher prices for inputs, veterinarian services, and equipment repairs.
The impact of sprawl on the loss of farmland, coupled with Delaware’s
recent growth in population and land consumption, prompted the Delaware Department of Agriculture to ask American Farmland Trust (AFT) to research historic and recent trends in the state’s growth and capital spending.
A model easement used by the state of Delaware's purchase of agricultural conservation easement program.
These laws enable Delaware's Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement program.
Conservation easements are coming under increased scrutiny from Congress and the Internal Revenue Service. Pressure is intensifying on easement holders to guarantee monitoring and enforcement of easements in perpetuity.
Nutrient management structures will now be exempt from property taxes in Delaware, thanks to a new law passed by the state's Legislature on June 30th, 2004. House Bill 470 provides an exemption for all lands and structures used for nutrient storage, disposal or management pursuant to a nutrient management plan.
These laws enable agricultural districts in Delaware.