Protecting Farmland

Between 1982 and 2007, 23,163,500 acres of agricultural land were converted to developed
land – an area the size of Indiana. American Farmland Trust

SWCD’s have a long tradition of working with farmers to protect productive agricultural soils and water quality. Our staff works with rural landowners to help sustain and improve the land and waters we all depend on.

EMSWCD helps farmers permanently protect their most valuable resource, the land. By helping to conserve the District’s productive agricultural soils, we not only help sustain individual farms, we also help the local agricultural economy stay strong for the long haul. We all benefit from the open space, watershed health and economic good this can produce.

How We Do It

EMSWCD employs tried and true methods to permanently protect farmland in the District for future generations of farmers. Our program is modeled after other successful agricultural preservation programs from around the country. SWCD’s, land trusts, farm groups and other organizations, partner with private landowners to keep land in farming. Millions of acres of land have already been protected through these programs across the nation.

Partnering with willing landowners only, we’ll work together to determine the best method to permanently protect their property that best fits particular personal, family and financial situations. The District may accept the donation of lands and easements, and in some instances, purchase priority farm and natural lands in fee or through agricultural easements.

Learn more about agricultural easements here.

For example, a family may decide that the best way to protect their farm for the next generation and possibly provide for income tax savings or other income would be to donate or sell an agricultural easement to an organization like EMSWCD. The easement keeps the farmland in production, protects great soils and helps to preserve a vital part of the local agricultural economy.

In selecting which properties to work on, we look at the property’s size, location, soil quality and water resources. In addition, financial considerations like cost and other key factors are all weighed to find the projects that will provide the greatest long-term public benefits.

Please contact Andrew Brown, our Conservation Program Supervisor, if you would like your property to be considered or to learn more.