Is the long awaited Farm Bill helping keep land agricultural? Glen Chown, founding executive director of Michigan’s Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, has found some morsels of hope for Michigan’s farm community.
“The new Agricultural Lands Easement program will provide grants to purchase conservation easements that permanently restrict development on important farmland and reward landowners who participate in the program with permanent tax breaks. These voluntary agreements will ensure that land stays in agriculture and continues to be an important — and growing — part of our state’s economy. The predecessors to this program have already conserved more than one million acres of economically and ecologically important agricultural lands. The new program will easily double that total.”