California Farmland Trust Buys 16K Acres and 70 Farms
CALIFORNIA - This week, the California Farmland Trust expanded the number of acres in the Golden State that are dedicated to agricultural purposes. The trust purchased development rights for 16,000 acres of land, which include 70 farms, in Northern California and the Central Valley.
“Every year, we lose estimated between 40- to 50,000 acres of farmland,” said Melanee Cottrill, Associate Director, to Capital Public Radio. She explained that the trust’s goal is to keep land in Sacramento, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Stanislaus, Madera, and Merced counties from becoming housing developments. “And primarily that’s because people want to live here. The same things that make this a great region for growing also makes it a great place for living.”
Thus, the trust’s latest acquisition of land keeps important farmland as just that: farmland. Cottrill noted that family farms, despite the younger generation’s lack of interest in them, are pushing to preserve land for agricultural uses and, as a result, the demand for farm protection is increasing—great news for those of us keen on championing ag any chance we can.
As part of the deal, the California Farmland Trust pays the farm owners for their land rights, with the farmers maintaining ownership of the properties. This method helps many farmers cover costly expenses, like upkeeping operations or purchasing a new tractor.
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