Making farm viability and farmland protection an integral part of land use planning
Planning for Ag is a collaboration between the American Farmland Trust (AFT) and GrowSmart Maine (GSM) to make farm viability and farmland protection an integral part of land use planning. We do this through:
1) Advocacy at the local and state levels to advance legislation, planning solutions, and other measures that help safeguard farmland and farm viability;
- See relevant legislation and our testimony here.
2) Convening partners and channeling resources to amplify smart growth and farm community voices in town and municipal planning processes;
3) Enabling local communities and citizen planners to integrate farm viability and farm protection strategies in comprehensive plans and land-use ordinances by making relevant tools and guidance readily available.
- We work directly with communities interested in planning for agriculture.
- We have also made land use strategies and ordinances easily accessible for citizen-planners through our Planning for Ag Toolbox.
The initiative is a response to the alarming rate of farmland loss in Maine and across America. Maine lost almost 150,000 acres or 10% of its farmland between 2012 and 2017. AFT estimates that about two thirds of farmland loss is due to “low density residential development,” or sprawl.
GSM works with local communities to limit sprawl and encourage development toward existing village centers. Smart growth allows local businesses and farmers’ markets to thrive on walkable main streets, communities to benefit from resilient local food networks, and families to have access to healthy, locally grown food. Reducing sprawl has also been shown to have a positive fiscal impact on town and municipal budgets.
If you have questions or want to explore how we can support planning in your town, contact Harald Bredesen, Program Director, at (207) 248-8166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
News and Updates
Over the next decade, the current agricultural system will need to fundamentally transform in order to produce enough food for 9.8 billion people, mitigate and adapt to climate change, protect water resources, and support farmers. According to the U.S. Environmental...
GrowSmart Maine was honored to be invited to serve on the Land Transfer Subcommittee, providing recommendations to the PFAS Advisory Committee for this component of support to farmers dealing with contaminated land and water. The PFAS Fund is a new and evolving...
AFT: By 2040, 80 percent of cropland production in the contiguous United States at risk, due to climate change.
Changes to weather patterns could hinder production of basic crops, according to new research published by the American Farmland Trust. By 2040, 80 percent of cropland production in the contiguous United States will be at risk from rising temperatures and shifting...