AFT's Agenda 2007 Draws Worldwide Attention
AFT's May 8th release of Agenda 2007: A New Framework and Direction for Farm Policy has drawn media attention and interest in North America, Australia and Europe. The policy recommendations in Agenda 2007 reflect AFT's vision of well-managed, protected farm and ranch land that provides open space, clean water, healthy food, wildlife habitat and a renewed bond between the farm community and the rest of America. Access the audio and a video of the May 8th release here.
A Tempting "Carrot": Transferable Income Tax Credit for Donated Conservation Easements
Nine states offer income tax credits for landowners who place easements on their property. Colorado, South Carolina and Virginia have gone a step further to increase the number of acres under easement by allowing the sale, or transfer, of easement income tax credits. And the "carrot" is working. Record numbers of Virginians are protecting their land from development through easement donation—from approximately 23,000 acres a year before the credit was transferable to more than 35,000 acres last year.
AFT's BMP Challenge Offers Solutions for Dead Zones
American Farmland Trust's Best Management Practice (BMP) Challenge for farmers has been recognized as one of the few solutions available to help shrink the Gulf of Mexico dead zone (hypoxia). Fertilizer runoff has been linked to the contamination of our local watersheds and the creation of over 150 dead zones worldwide, including the one in the Gulf. Reducing over-application of nitrogen fertilizers is one of the best ways to shrink the dead zones and help keep our water clean. The BMP Challenge provides an innovative solution, making it easier for farmers to reduce nitrogen use and save money while protecting income. Take action today—tell your representatives to help protect our water by supporting the BMP Challenge!
AFT and Stonyfield Farm Present Mooville
American Farmland Trust is proud to partner with Stonyfield Farm—the nation's leading organic and natural yogurt company that donates 10 percent of its profits to help the environment—on its 2006 mobile tour, Mooville. The Mooville tour will be on the road for four months this summer and fall, attending family-friendly events throughout the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest. At each event, a giant exhibit featuring Gurt the interactive cow will educate and entertain kids of all ages. Other attractions include a video about Stonyfield Farm and organic farming, seed planting, coloring and yogurt sampling.
How Did Delaware Protect 80,000 Acres of Farmland?
Delaware's governor and secretary of agriculture will share insights about the state's farmland preservation program—which ranks number one nationally in the percentage of land permanently preserved for agriculture—at AFT's 2006 national Farming on the Edge conference in November. Both Governor Minner and Secretary Scuse have worked to permanently preserve land for agriculture, which is recognized as one of the state's most important industries. During Governor Minner's first year in office, she unveiled her "Livable Delaware" initiative to curb sprawl and encourage thoughtful planning. Secretary Scuse has helped to make Delaware's Agricultural Lands Preservation Program a national success story.
Around the Country
Alabama will participate in the federal Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program for the first time, with the state providing matching funds of over $500,000.
In Virginia, Governor Kaine announced a goal of setting aside 400,000 acres of land for preservation by the end of this decade.
The new Land Use: 2025 plan was discussed by Gov. Parris N. Glendenning at the Power of Place summit in Rhode Island.
Indiana's Hoosier Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Service is working to help establish an Indiana Working Farmland Protection Program.
In New Jersey, the Garden State Preservation Trust approved $116.7 million to build on the momentum of farmland preservation efforts across the state.
Pennsylvania's new PennSecurity Fuels Initiative will use Pennsylvania-grown corn to produce an 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline blend.