New Report: Land Trusts and Agricultural Lands

Posted by on September 29, 2008

Glynwood Center Releases a New Report:
“Land Trusts and Agricultural Land: Protecting Farmland or Farming?”

Land Trust Leaders Across the US Contribute their Insights and Expertise; the Report Outlines How Land Trusts Can Support Active Farming on Protected Farmland and Shares Innovative Practices from Around the Country

Cold Spring, NY — Glynwood Center, a not-for-profit organization, just released a comprehensive report on Land Trusts and the protection of agricultural land.

Over the past year, Glynwood has worked with leading land trusts and government agencies to identify key challenges and innovative approaches to protecting farmland and encouraging its productive use.  The aim of the report is to share cutting edge approaches from across the country that address the unique conservation issues that relate to the protection of farmland.  The central question for land trusts working on farmland protection and the theme of the report is whether and how to go beyond the protection of the farmland to the support of farming – ie, keeping the land actively working and in production.

The bulk of the 29 page report is entitled “Learning from the Innovators.”  The Glynwood report outlines innovative, successful approaches to protecting farmland and furthering production that were developed through interviews and a convening with 18 national leaders.  Key points include:

* How conservation easements can be adapted to accommodate the needs of farmers
* Methods that encourage continuing agricultural use
* Enhancing the stewardship of protected land
* The importance of working on larger scales and entering the arena of public policy
* How land trusts can work with state and regional partners to offer additional services to farmers and landowners
* Ways to increase the economic viability of regional farming, including providing new sources of income, helping to meet the challenge of processing meats, and marketing support for farmers
* Expanding the constituency for farming and farmland protection through public education

In addition, the Report identifies key challenges, including why agricultural land presents unique challenges to the land trust community, the unintended consequences of conservation and shared concerns that emerged while interviewing land trust leaders from different communities across the country.

The last section of the Report identifies emerging issues that need to be considered now as global environmental and economic issues begin to significantly impact small and midsize farms.

To read “Land Trusts and Agricultural Land: Protecting Farmland or Farming?” in full and download a pdf of the Report, please visit this link on the Glynwood Center website:

Supporting documents such as easements and innovative program descriptions can also be found on Glynwood Center’s website.  PRINTED COPIES of the Land Trusts and Agricultural Land report can be ordered from by calling Anita Barber at (845) 265-3338 or emailing her,  There will be a nominal fee for shipping and handling.

Glynwood Center is the not-for-profit organization in the Hudson Valley whose work around Community Stewardship emphasizes the importance of strengthening regional food systems by helping communities understand the value of regional agriculture and develop strategies to encourage farmers to stay on their land.

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