The Landowners and Farmers Partnering for Clean Water in the Great Lakes project demonstrated the potential for protecting water quality in the Great Lakes by effectively reaching out to non-operating landowners, farmers, and agricultural retailers. American Farmland Trust and our partners employed several tactics to connect with these groups and secured commitments to embrace farm-based conservation measures.
As a result of our efforts:
- non-operating agricultural landowners have a clearer path toward implementing conservation practices;
- farmers know how to improve relationships with landowners and incorporate conservation practices on leased land; and
- conservation professionals are better serving both groups, including women landowners.
The results of this critical work, which was accomplished over three years, will strengthen opportunities for farming throughout the Great Lakes region, and will lead to increased environmental benefits, including healthier soil and improved water quality and wildlife habitat.
Pilots were conducted in watersheds in two states—the Portage and Toussaint River Basins in northwestern Ohio, and the Genesee River Basin in western New York—where 22 to 49 percent of the farmland is leased.