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Strategic Ranchlands at Risk in the Rocky Mountain West: Mapping the Threats to Prime Ranchland in Seven Western States

American Farmland Trust, Center of the American West, and The Nature Conservancy conducted a study to model and map prime ranchlands of the rocky mountain west (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico) and to assess the development threats to those lands over the next twenty years. This slide presentation was developed in conjuction with the report, Strategic Ranchland in the Rocky Mountain West.

Agricultural Protection in Montana: Local Planning, Regulation, and Incentives

The State of Montana has a unique constitutional provision that reflects our state’s agricultural heritage, requiring that the Montana Legislature “protect, enhance, and develop all of agriculture.” The Montana Code is filled with a myriad of legislative enactments aimed at this very goal, including provisions in our planning and subdivision statutes. Within the parameters of these statutes, local governments work on the difficult task of shaping development opportunities while protecting valuable agricultural lands and heritage.

Transferring Your Farm or Ranch to the Next Generation: How to Combine Legal, Economic and Social Decision-making

An important goal for many Montana farm/ranch family enterprises is transferring land and business to the next generation. The process is challenging because it includes a complex web of economic, legal, and family social decisions. Often taxes and legal decisions become the focus of attention while the family’s social decisions about succession planning are ignored. Or, individuals assume that any problems, disagreements or differences among family members regarding succession will be worked out when the legal and tax processes are in order.

Land Link Montana

Land Link Montana is a farm and ranch transfer program whose mission is to see agricultural land remain under the stewardship of farmers and ranchers for generations to come. It achieves this by working to match interested landowners, farmers and ranchers who want to see their land kept in agricultural production with beginning or relocating farmers and ranchers who are seeking agricultural lands.

Food Matters: Farm Viability and Food Consumption in Missoula

Food is the most basic of necessities. Yet, food is even more than that. Food links us to others socially as we share meals with friends and family. It provides the catalyst for interaction at community events, church socials, farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and potluck dinners. It creates economic rewards through employment – for farmers and farm workers, grocery store clerks, restaurant servers, packers and processors, truckers – and it creates commerce through markets, grocery stores, restaurants, and street vendors. Food also has psychological meaning. It comforts and consoles.

Missoula/Missoula County, MT: Joint Resolution Supporting Community Food and Agriculture Coalition

A Community Food and Agriculture Council (CFAC) was established in Missoula County in 2005 to provide an umbrella organization for groups dedicated to working toward a local food system.  The CFAC promotes sustainable advocacy through proactive policy advocacy and works closely with both the city and county on land use planning decisions. 

Rocky Mountain Agricultural Landowners Guide to Conservation and Sustainability

The Rocky Mountain Agricultural Landowners Guide is the product of a unique partnership between American Farmland Trust and Coleman Natural Foods through the Coleman Eco-Project 2015, a 10-year relationship that addresses the critical need to protect U.S. working farms and ranches. In this guide, you will find information outlining tools and federal and state programs to help farmers and ranchers conserve their land and maintain its long-term health for future generations.

Creating Viable Farms and Ranches: An Economic Development Strategy in Rural and Urban-Edge Communities

Staying profitable when competing against a flood of products produced from four corners of the globe is one of the greatest challenges for farmers and ranchers. To address this challenge, communities that recognize the value of agriculture to the local economy implement land use planning techniques and agricultural economic development tools. By planning for an economically healthy agriculture with pro-farming techniques that are integrated into an overall comprehensive land use plan, urban-edge communities retain the qualities that make them attractive.

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