Departmental Papers (City and Regional Planning)

Document Type

Conference Paper

Date of this Version

June 2004


Postprint version. Farmland Preservation Conference: Protecting Farmland for Farmers, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, June 2004, 29 pages.


America's experience with farmland preservation is a combination of modest success and inconsistent farm policies. The successes--in terms of farmland acres preserved--have been concentrated in a relatively small number of counties, mainly in the Northeast and in California (see Sokolow and Zurbrugg, 2003). But nationwide there is a split between the farm income-oriented policies of the US federal government and the land use and growth management policies of state and local governments. Even though the federal government has recently implemented a farmland preservation grant program, land use planning in America is largely controlled by local governments. Getting the local governments-—townships in the Northeast and Midwest, and counties in the rest of the nation--to coordinate their land use planning and farmland preservation efforts has often been a frustrating experience. Targeting federal funds to important agricultural regions has not been fully realized.



Date Posted: 28 June 2007