Bread and Butter: Planning for Farms

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Certification Maintenance

CM | 1.25

What You'll Learn

  • How to assess if your community is "farm-friendly" and plan for local food and farming systems
  • How to assign value to different kinds of agricultural lands for food production and biodiversity and balance their protection for different public purposes
  • Advanced mapping tools to target growth, protect and conserve farmland, and plan for agriculture in the face of climate change, urbanization, and fragmentation

More Course Details

America's agricultural landscape supports regionally diverse food and farming systems, state and local economies, and environmental services from biodiversity to flood control, groundwater recharge, and fire suppression. But its future is threatened by climate change, fragmentation, and an aging farming population. What can planners do to save the land that sustains us? Learn about a new study which uses housing-density and climate-projection scenarios to forecast what could happen to our agricultural lands by 2040 if we fail to take action.

One panelist and the moderator frame these issues and the policy toolbox planners can use to address them. The second panelist engages the audience in a demonstration of a new, interactive mapping tool to identify lands best suited for different purposes — such as food production or wildlife habitat. A third panelist describes how the Scott County, Iowa, Future Land-Use Map is helping planners apply land-use policies intended to both preserve the county's prime farmland and protect farming operations from scattered development, while directing growth to cities.