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What You'll Learn
- Why both agricultural land preservation and agricultural economic enterprise are key to regional smart-growth planning
- Best practices for engaging and working with food-systems advocates, including farmers and ranchers, to pursue shared goals
- Innovative strategies to help local farmers become more economically successful and protect the working landscape agriculture depends on
More Course Details
Strong local food systems can provide fresh, healthy food to urban communities as well as jobs for agricultural workers. The foundation of a strong local food system is the preservation of agricultural lands for farming and ranching. Preservation of urban-edge agricultural lands also creates green space and helps spark demand for new urban development in the right places. Sadly, struggling agricultural landowners often feel compelled to sell to developers, who then advocate for the conversion of agricultural land to sprawling subdivisions. This pressure is in part due to the myriad of business challenges farmers and ranchers face, including high land costs, inadequate processing and distribution infrastructure, and difficulty accessing capital.
One way to protect agricultural land is to help farmers and ranchers succeed economically. Once the connections are made, advocates for strong agricultural operations often become allies for land preservation and sensible regional planning. This session provides specific examples of innovative, replicable policy and funding tools and strategies to support agricultural enterprise and preserve working landscapes that local and regional planners and decision-makers can implement in their communities.