Archived entries for farming

FarmAbility: Building Bridges with the Community

Focusing on the belief that a strong community connection with agriculture is integral to our economic health, retaining our heritage and quality of life, and living sustainably, Leelanau Conservancy in Michigan designed and launched FarmAbility in 2009. This program connects the land trust with farmers, leading them down the path to permanent land protection.

FarmAbility leads farmers on a path of permanent land protection.

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Farmers enrolled in FarmAbility receive modest income incentives and long-term planning assistance in exchange for keeping their farmland in production for a minimum of 10 years. This program was adapted by neighboring Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy in 2013, and between the two land trusts, over 7000 acres of property have been enrolled so far.

Brian Bourdages of Grand Traverse says, “It’s an honor to work with those farmers and farm families that want to utilize various farmland protection methods to ensure our globally unique farmland remains valuable for farming in the future.”

Interested in the ideas and methods behind this program? You can talk with Bourdages and Tom Nelson, the developer of FarmAbility for Leelanau Conservancy, at an ask-an-expert call on November 1st at 11am. Registration is free for our individual and land trust members.  (Not a member?  Join today!)

These calls are a virtual component to our Land Trust Excellence & Advancement Program. Interested in learning more about how LEAP can help you and your land trust? Contact us any time!

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Interested in knowing more about farmland protection in Wisconsin? Check out our Working Lands page.

Protecting the Mississippi — One Farm at a Time

Flowing 2,300 miles through the heart of America, the Mississippi River provides water, food, industry, habitat for wildlife and recreation for millions of people. Clearly this is one natural resource that affects all of us, everyday, and we need to be conscious of how we use it so we can preserve it as best we can for future generations.

That is exactly what farmer Charles Pearce is working on. Pearce has lived and worked on his family farm for decades and has been looking for ways to improve the health of the land and water around him and his farm. Lucky for Pearce his local land trust, Kettle Moraine Land Trust (KMLT), also recognized the importance of addressing water quality issues in the Walworth County area.

Pearce inspecting the cover crops on his farm. Photo by Kettle Moraine Land Trust.

Pearce inspecting the cover crops on his farm. Photo by KMLT.

 

So, KMLT asked the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to become a partner in their Watershed Initiative Network. NRCS agreed, and through this partnership funding is now available through the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative.

How the partnership works is that KMLT requests funds from NRCS to help local farmers like Pearce implement conservation techniques that will improve the quality of water that eventually flows into the Mississippi River. Pearce is then able to plant cover crop on his fields to prevent soil erosion that protects nearby Lake Delavan.

Thanks to national programs like this and local land trusts like KMLT, landowners are able to reap the benefits of not only protecting their land but also entire watersheds, which we are truly grateful for, because they impact us all everyday.

Delevan Lake in Walworth County, WI. Photo by Kettle Moraine Land Trust.

Delavan Lake in Walworth County, WI. Photo by KMLT.

 



Gathering Waters • 211 S. Paterson St. Suite 270 • Madison, WI 53703 • PH 608-251-9131 • FX 608-663-5971 • info@gatheringwaters.org