Over 50 acres of U.S. farm and ranch land are lost every hour. The nation lost a million acres of farmland in 2015. Once that land is gone, it’s gone forever. When we protect a farm, we also guard our heritage and our commitment to a sustainable future.
About 90% of New England’s food comes from outside of the region. Unfortunately, total local food self-reliance is unrealistic. A New England Food Vision, a collaborative report considering the future of sustainable food production throughout the region, explores New England’s potential to produce 50% of its food by 2060. Reaching this goal would require New England to dedicate 6 million acres to producing food. That’s three times as much land as is currently engaged in agricultural production. Protecting farmland ensures that it will be available to feed future generations.
LAND, AIR, AND WATER
The quality of the natural world around us benefits from farmland protection. Protecting farmland protects wetlands and watersheds, water quality, and provides protection from flooding. Farmland is a massive source of habitat for birds and wildlife.
Provisions for farmland protection in municipal planning initiatives have significant economic benefits. Farmland generates more funds in local property tax revenue than it demands in government services. According to a UCONN study, the agricultural industry has an impact of up to $3.5 billion on the state economy, and generates approximately 20,000 jobs statewide.