Farmland Preservation - Purdue Extension

Farmland Preservation
Protecting Our Way of Life,
Ensuring our Future,
Saving Our Heritage
Farmland Preservation:
Our Agricultural Roots
• Indiana has always been a farming state
• Second in the nation in the amount of prime
– 1st in ducks; 2nd in popcorn, ice cream and tomatoes;
4th in soybeans; 5th in corn and hogs
• Hoosier farms supply food for their neighbors
and for people all around the globe
• 15 million acres of farmland
Farmland Preservation:
How Much We’ve Already Lost
• In 1890, there was around 22 million acres of farmland in
Indiana—we have developed nearly 1/3 of that since
• 50% of farmland owned by those nearing retirement,
meaning that half of Hoosier farmland will change hands
in the next 10-15 years
• According to the Indianapolis Star, “the best farmland is
being developed three to four times faster than nonproducing or marginal farmland.”
Farmland Preservation:
How Much We’ve Already Lost
• From 1992-1997, we ranked #1 in the nation in
the amount of agricultural land developed
• Every hour, our state loses more than 10 acres
of farmland, over 80,000 per year
• We are ranked 7th in the nation for losing the
most farmland between 1997-2002
• Each year more than 100,000 acres of Indiana
farmland is converted to non-farm uses, that is
equivalent to losing an area approximately half
the size of Brown County every year
Farmland Preservation:
Why save farmland?
• National Economy and World Food Supply
• Protection of the Environment
• Fresh, Healthy Food and Strong
• Fiscal Stability for Local Governments
Farmland Preservation:
What Other States Are Doing
• Many states have implemented programs
to ensure land be used for agricultural
• Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and many other
states have programs to protect farmland
• These programs have saved over 1.3
million acres of farmland
Farmland Preservation:
What Other States Are Doing
Farmland Preservation:
Taking Advantage of Federal Funds
• Farm and Ranch Protection Program (FRPP)
• Has protected over 270,000 acres of farmland in
43 states
• Voluntary Federal program to help maintain land
for agricultural use
• Administered by the Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS)
Farmland Preservation:
Taking Advantage of Federal Funds
• Provides matching funds up to 50% of the fair market easement
value to help purchase development rights
• USDA announced recently there will be $70 million available for
farmland preservation
• State and local governments, private or non-profit groups, or others
are responsible for acquiring the other 50%
• Map shows how states are taking advantage of this program:
Illinois received $1.2 million matching funds
Ohio over $2 million
Michigan $1.6 million
Kentucky $1.9 million
Indiana $0
Losing Federal Funding
Losing Federal Funding
Farmland Preservation:
Taking Advantage of Federal Funds
• One recent article on the topic titled,
“Indiana, get serious about Farmland
Preservation!”, stated after explaining the
millions in federal funding going to other
states, “Indiana, however, for the 10th
straight year, will let the program pass it by
yet again.”
Farmland Preservation:
State Initiatives
• As of June 2005, 27 states have laws
authorizing state-level purchase of
agricultural conservation easements
• This program has protected over 1.3
million in farmland at a cost of $2.7 billion
Farmland Preservation:
Who are the players?
• The Farmer
• Developers
• Local and State Governments
• Apprehension of Taxpayers
• Public
Farmland Preservation:
So, what do we do?
• Public Education and Awareness
• Educate farmers
– Build on momentum of tonight’s program
• Develop a program
Farmland Preservation:
So, what do we do?
ORDINANCE NO. 2006 - _____
WHEREAS, the conservation of farmland and other non-developed land is an
important aspect in retaining the scenic beauty and rural nature of the local
environment that has made Harrison County a great place to live, and;
WHEREAS, the institution of a land conservation program is an important tool in
protecting such land from sprawling development so that it will remain
available to support the local agricultural economy, and;
WHEREAS, it is desired to create such a program to 1) foster and support the
conservation of land through easements, donations and any other means that
become available, and 2) make federal, state or local conservation grants
accessible to interested property owners in the county and;
WHEREAS, the establishment of a land conservation program is in the best
interest of the citizens of Harrison County now and for future generations;
Farmland Preservation:
So, what do we do?
A Farm in Bartholomew County will be
protected forever due to the owners
recently purchasing a conservation
easement and donating it to the
Sycamore Land Trust.
Farmland Preservation:
So, what do we do?
• Tax credits
–Allow income tax credits for the
value of conservation easements
Farmland Preservation:
So, what do we do?
• Allow State to Develop Program to allow
local governments or non-governmental
organizations to apply for the 25% match
to get the federal money
– The other 25% would be donated by
landowner to show dedication to the program
Farmland Preservation:
Legislation to Aid Our Efforts
• SB 362 in 2004
– Would have frozen assessed value of
• House Bill in 2006 attempted to
appropriate $5 million from state general
fund to start a county farmland protection
• Lack of interest and lack of funds led to
their demise
Farmland Preservation:
Where to go from here
• Remember Indiana’s Agricultural Roots
• Realize the importance of this problem
• Take advantage of federal funding
• As we discussed, we need to educate the
public—it won’t be seriously addressed
until people realize it’s a serious issue
• We need to work together to develop a
program that can appease all players

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