Voice of the Land
Reality Check…No Farms. No Food.
Putting food on the table is certainly a priority in our daily lives. And, it is clearly the priority of our nation’s farmers.
But, with over 50 acres of farm and ranch land being lost to development every day, how do we make sure we don’t run out of farmland, much less food?
For over 35 years, the American Farmland Trust has been tackling the biggest threats to the nation’s farmlands and family farmers. AFT was founded in 1980 by philanthropist and farmer Peggy McGrath Rockefeller, with conservationist Norm Berg and California farmer Ralph Grossi and others. They set out a big task for themselves.
This non-profit has offices throughout the country working on a mission of Advocacy, Education, Research and Building Coalitions to stem the loss of farmland as well as improve efficiencies in its use. They have developed land protection programs and funding programs for family farmers growing fruits, vegetables and nuts. AFT has worked to reduce soil erosion and fertilizer use, believing that Food on Plates means a Clean Environment.
According to AFT, 24 million acres of agricultural land, an area equivalent to the states of Indiana and Rhode Island combined, was developed between 1982 and 2010. The American Farmland Trust, in its span, has helped to save more than 5 million acres of farm and ranch land and contributed to conservation improvements for millions more acres.
The Trust grows by donations so that farms can continue to grow food. Your landscape designer, Art of the Land, has been a contributor to AFT for years. You can donate here when you visit the AFT website. And, while you are there, be sure to read through the ambitious Strategic Plan for how the group plans to keep farms alive and food growing.
Eric Holt Gimenez is an agroecologist and political economist famous in the development of sustainable agriculture. We like this quote of his:
” Land – rural or urban – is more than just land; it is the space where social, economic, and community decisions are made, and it is the place of neighborhood, culture, and livelihoods.”
Support the work of the American Farmland Trust. No Farms. No Food. No way to be.