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Farmland Preservation. Protecting Our Way of Life, Ensuring our Future, Saving Our Heritage. Farmland Preservation: Our Agricultural Roots. Indiana has always been a farming state Second in the nation in the amount of prime farmland

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farmland preservation

Farmland Preservation

Protecting Our Way of Life, Ensuring our Future,

Saving Our Heritage

farmland preservation our agricultural roots
Farmland Preservation: Our Agricultural Roots
  • Indiana has always been a farming state
  • Second in the nation in the amount of prime farmland
    • 1st in ducks; 2nd in popcorn, ice cream and tomatoes; 4th in soybeans; 5th in corn and hogs
  • Hoosier farms supply food for their neighbors and for people all around the globe
  • 15 million acres of farmland
farmland preservation how much we ve already lost
Farmland Preservation: How Much We’ve Already Lost
  • In 1890, there was around 22 million acres of farmland in Indiana—we have developed nearly 1/3 of that since
  • 50% of farmland owned by those nearing retirement, meaning that half of Hoosier farmland will change hands in the next 10-15 years
  • According to the Indianapolis Star, “the best farmland is being developed three to four times faster than non-producing or marginal farmland.”
farmland preservation how much we ve already lost4
Farmland Preservation: How Much We’ve Already Lost
  • From 1992-1997, we ranked #1 in the nation in the amount of agricultural land developed
  • Every hour, our state loses more than 10 acres of farmland, over 80,000 per year
  • We are ranked 7th in the nation for losing the most farmland between 1997-2002
  • Each year more than 100,000 acres of Indiana farmland is converted to non-farm uses, that is equivalent to losing an area approximately half the size of Brown County every year
farmland preservation why save farmland
Farmland Preservation: Why save farmland?
  • National Economy and World Food Supply
  • Protection of the Environment
  • Fresh, Healthy Food and Strong Communities
  • Fiscal Stability for Local Governments
farmland preservation what other states are doing
Farmland Preservation: What Other States Are Doing
  • Many states have implemented programs to ensure land be used for agricultural purposes
  • Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and many other states have programs to protect farmland
  • These programs have saved over 1.3 million acres of farmland
farmland preservation taking advantage of federal funds
Farmland Preservation: Taking Advantage of Federal Funds
  • Farm and Ranch Protection Program (FRPP)
  • Has protected over 270,000 acres of farmland in 43 states
  • Voluntary Federal program to help maintain land for agricultural use
  • Administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
farmland preservation taking advantage of federal funds9
Farmland Preservation: Taking Advantage of Federal Funds
  • Provides matching funds up to 50% of the fair market easement value to help purchase development rights
  • USDA announced recently there will be $70 million available for farmland preservation
  • State and local governments, private or non-profit groups, or others are responsible for acquiring the other 50%
  • Map shows how states are taking advantage of this program:
    • Illinois received $1.2 million matching funds
    • Ohio over $2 million
    • Michigan $1.6 million
    • Kentucky $1.9 million
    • Indiana $0
farmland preservation taking advantage of federal funds12
Farmland Preservation: Taking Advantage of Federal Funds
  • One recent article on the topic titled, “Indiana, get serious about Farmland Preservation!”, stated after explaining the millions in federal funding going to other states, “Indiana, however, for the 10th straight year, will let the program pass it by yet again.”
farmland preservation state initiatives
Farmland Preservation: State Initiatives
  • As of June 2005, 27 states have laws authorizing state-level purchase of agricultural conservation easements
  • This program has protected over 1.3 million in farmland at a cost of $2.7 billion
farmland preservation who are the players
Farmland Preservation:Who are the players?
  • The Farmer
  • Developers
  • Local and State Governments
      • Apprehension of Taxpayers
  • Public
farmland preservation so what do we do
Farmland Preservation:So, what do we do?
  • Public Education and Awareness
  • Educate farmers
    • Build on momentum of tonight’s program
  • Develop a program
farmland preservation so what do we do16
Farmland Preservation:So, what do we do?

HARRISON COUNTY, INDIANA

ORDINANCE NO. 2006 - _____

AN ORDINANCE CREATING THE HARRISON COUNTY LAND CONSERVATION PROGRAM

WHEREAS, the conservation of farmland and other non-developed land is an important aspect in retaining the scenic beauty and rural nature of the local environment that has made Harrison County a great place to live, and;

WHEREAS, the institution of a land conservation program is an important tool in protecting such land from sprawling development so that it will remain available to support the local agricultural economy, and;

WHEREAS, it is desired to create such a program to 1) foster and support the conservation of land through easements, donations and any other means that become available, and 2) make federal, state or local conservation grants accessible to interested property owners in the county and;

WHEREAS, the establishment of a land conservation program is in the best interest of the citizens of Harrison County now and for future generations;

THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE HARRISON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS THAT THE HARRISON COUNTY CONSERVATION PROGRAM IS HEREBY CREATED AS FOLLOWS:

HARRISON COUNTY LAND CONSERVATION PROGRAM

farmland preservation so what do we do17
Farmland Preservation:So, what do we do?

A Farm in Bartholomew County will be protected forever due to the owners recently purchasing a conservation easement and donating it to the Sycamore Land Trust.

farmland preservation so what do we do18
Farmland Preservation:So, what do we do?
  • Tax credits
    • Allow income tax credits for the value of conservation easements
farmland preservation so what do we do19
Farmland Preservation:So, what do we do?
  • Allow State to Develop Program to allow local governments or non-governmental organizations to apply for the 25% match to get the federal money
    • The other 25% would be donated by landowner to show dedication to the program
farmland preservation legislation to aid our efforts
Farmland Preservation:Legislation to Aid Our Efforts
  • SB 362 in 2004
    • Would have frozen assessed value of farmland
  • House Bill in 2006 attempted to appropriate $5 million from state general fund to start a county farmland protection fund.
  • Lack of interest and lack of funds led to their demise
farmland preservation where to go from here
Farmland Preservation:Where to go from here
  • Remember Indiana’s Agricultural Roots
  • Realize the importance of this problem
  • Take advantage of federal funding programs
  • As we discussed, we need to educate the public—it won’t be seriously addressed until people realize it’s a serious issue
  • We need to work together to develop a program that can appease all players