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Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Central Valley Farm Protection...

1-11-07 from the American Farmland Trust

Nation’s Top Ag County Considers Stronger Protections for Farmland

The Board of Supervisors in Fresno County has directed its planning department to draft a strong new set of farmland protection policies. Located in the heart of California’s Central Valley, Fresno is the nation’s top agricultural producer with $4.7 billion in annual output. But the county has more than a dozen large and small cities, all surrounded by prime farmland and growing rapidly. Concerned that they will grow together, leaving little room for agriculture, the county is considering designating specific agricultural areas for protection, putting new limits on non-farm development, establishing a purchase of conservation easements program and increasing urban densities. AFT’s California Director Ed Thompson was invited to testify at a workshop convened by the supervisors to hear about these proposals.

A Vision for 10,000 Acres of Farmland in California

The Suisun Valley in California, a unique agricultural area of nearly 10,000 acres, faces an uncertain future. High land prices, market competition and residential developmentCalifornia's Suisun Valley threaten the viability of this farming community. According to local farmers, “It’s catch up time, but the regulations aren’t catching up as fast.” AFT is helping Solano County and the Suisun Valley Fund Advisory Committee to identify agricultural economic plans from throughout the country that could help. Using a farmer-driven input process, AFT is helping the Suisun Valley farm community articulate a vision for local agriculture.


California Partnership Makes San Joaquin Valley Land Use Recommendations

A blue ribbon commission chartered by Governor Schwarzenegger has recommended a suite of policy reforms aimed at promoting more livable communities and farmland protection in the San Joaquin Valley. Among the recommendations are increasing the efficiency of development, limits on rural ranchettes, a “no net loss” of farmland policy when city limits are expanded and a strategic plan for the future of agriculture. The recommendations now go to a regional planning effort called the San Joaquin Valley Blueprint Project. Read more about the partnership recommendations and the San Joaquin Blueprint. AFT California state director Ed Thompson, Jr., has been named to the Blueprint’s regional advisory committee.

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