Where would this country be without farmland? Imagine a nation filled to the boundaries with suburban development and cities, the only open land not being suitable for agriculture and livestock. Our quality of life, our health, and our economy would be grim, to the say the least. Farmland and ranch land is disappearing faster than we can imagine: 125 acres every single hour, or 1.2 million acres annually, according to the American Farmland Trust. This organization, created in 1979, is committed to working with farmers in order to establish the best farming practices, protecting farm and ranch land, protecting the environment, implementing legislation to save the land, and supporting and advocating local farms and food, among many sub-initiatives. (See here).
If you check out the website, American Farmland Trust, you’ll see the vast array of programs and goals of the AFT. One aspect that stands out, to me, is the easy access to supporting the AFT via advocacy in their Action Center. There are simple things like filling out a preformatted letter to send to your local Congressmen (re: legislation), signing and sharing the current 9 in ’09 Farm & Food Policy recommendations to President Obama, signing and personalizing your own personal pledge to shop and eat local food (Keep it Local), among others. The website is fun, easy to navigate, eye appealing, and very informative.
You may have seen the bumper stickers proclaiming No Farms, No Food. Good news, you can request your own, for free! Sign up here and show your support for farmland and local food. If you’re looking for the easiest ways to show your support, sign up for the bumper sticker and take the Keep it Local Pledge. Then follow the 7 ways to save farmland. If you need to look up local food, try Local Harvest where you can find sustainably grown food closest to you.
Preservation, landscape, environmentalism, sustainability, locally grown shop, local stores, good planning – they are all connected. We may not be able to work together on a regular basis, but supporting the others’ efforts will help all of us reach our similar goals.
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