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Massachusetts Farmland Protection Tools
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MA Farmland Protection Tools

Trends in APR Program Acquisitions: What Is (and Is Not) Being Protected   

AFT has undertaken a research project to analyze what is, and is not, being protected through the APR Program, and how the program's rules and policies (such as the price per acre and local match) are impacting the quality, quantity and geographic location of land enrolled in the program, and to develop policy recommendations to address these impacts.  This project is being done in collaboration with MA Department of Agricultural Resources, USDA-NRCS, MA Farm Bureau, Trust for Public Land and First Pioneer Farm Credit.  Research results are available below:

Statewide Farmland Protection Forum Held to Explore New Tools

MA Farmland Investments PublicationOn December 3rd AFT convened over 60 farmers, legislators, representatives from farm and conservation organizations, and state agency officials for a day-long Farmland Protection Forum.  The Forum examined the Commonwealth's current farmland protection toolbox and explored potential new land protection and conservation finance tools, including farmer pensions, eco-system service payments, and agricultural districts. Participants also identified other opportunities to advance farmland protection in the state.  AFT is currently working with Forum participants and a steering committee to refine and pursue possible new tools. 

Participants also received AFT’s newly released Farms for the Future: Massachusetts’ Investments in Farmland Conservation, a report which laid the groundwork for the Forum.  Farms for the Future provides a better understanding of the state’s agriculture sector and the land on which it relies.  The report includes a review of state programs and recommends a number of actions to improve and complement those programs. 

AFT would like to thank the Northeast Farm Credit Agenhancement Program, the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation and AFT's New England Contributors for thier financial support in making the forum and report possible.

Presentations and Handouts

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American Farmland Trust