Working Farmland Protection Program Makes Strides

We are pleased to announce that our Working Farmland Protection Program has closed on an important farmland transaction! This February, EMSWCD acquired a 14-acre farm property directly adjoining its Headwaters Incubator Farm property on the outskirts of Gresham.

Acquisition helps ensure a future for agriculture on the property. With its proximity to EMSWCD’s Headwaters Farm Incubator Program (a launching pad for aspiring farmers), there are exciting opportunities to extend programming for current and graduating participants of the Incubator Program onto this property. The property also enjoys nearly 400 feet of frontage along Johnson Creek, a stream which EMSWCD has long worked to improve through its StreamCare program (a voluntary program with private landowners that restores native vegetation along important waterways).

“We are excited to advance our Working Farmland Protection Program with this strategic acquisition,” said EMSWCD Board Chair Rick Till. “This transaction fulfills so many outcomes – buffering neighboring farms from development that could limit their operations, creating exciting prospects for participants in EMSWCD’s Headwaters Incubator Farm and providing an opportunity to further enhance water and habitat quality in Johnson Creek.”

EMSWCD is grateful for the interest and willingness of the property owner, who made this voluntary transaction possible. “I was excited to have an opportunity to ensure farming would continue on the property, and that the transaction could help grow the next generation of farmers,” said Hank Mishima, who created and nurtured this long-standing nursery operation.

This transaction was managed and funded through the Working Farmland Protection component of EMSWCD’s Land Legacy Program. The Working Farmland Protection Program works to secure the sustainability of the local agricultural economy by ensuring that high quality farmland remains available for use by current and future farmers. For farmers who wish to sell their property outright, EMSWCD can purchase those properties in order to avoid their conversion to other uses. And, for those farmers who want to stay on the farm but would like to realize some of the value of their property, EMSWCD can purchase a working farmland easement – a blueprint for the future of the property which ensures the property remains in agricultural use.

Learn more!