High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal
By: George Thornton
June 11, 2018
If you take a trip through rural America, you will pass one farm after another that produces an abundance of food to feed both America and the world while supporting millions of jobs. These farms also serve as habitat for wildlife, including approximately half of our country’s protected species.
Family farms remain an integral part of the U.S. agricultural sector. However, due to rising costs, big farms getting bigger, and encroaching development, far too many family farms are being lost. In fact, more than 40 acres of farm and ranch land is lost hourly to development, or nearly 1,000 acres every day.
One solution is increased use of conservation easements, a vital instrument in protecting land for future use. Individuals, families or partnerships of unrelated individuals can enter into conservation easements, which are voluntary and legally-binding agreements, to protect lands from future development while allowing the continuation of activities like farming…