While agriculture remains one of the most important parts of the U.S. economy, over the past several decades the industry has been in a state of flux. The growth of large-scale agribusinesses and the gradual aging of farmers (with fewer and fewer young farmers entering the profession, the average age of farmers is increasing) has put significant pressure on small farmers nationwide.
When farmers quit the profession, their land is frequently sold, often to developers who have no interest in continuing agricultural production. According to the American Farmland Trust, a private organization dedicated to preserving farm and ranchland across the country, over 1 million acres of farmland are lost each year.
While many states have created programs dedicated to paying farmers for preserving their farmland, two private companies are raising test funds for a private preservation program. The Davis and Sacramento natural food cooperatives recently began the “One Farm at a Time” Initiative.
The One Farm at a Time initiative hopes to raise between $300,000 and $400,000 to purchase an easement in the Yollo Valley, the location of the Good Humus Farm, the initial target of the cooperatives’ program, that would preserve the area as farmland in perpetuity. In addition, the easement would help younger farmers purchase the land for its agricultural value, which is significantly less than its outright land value.
To learn more about agricultural financing opportunities contact a Farm Plus Financial representative by calling 866-929-5585 or by visiting .
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer