Pennsylvania, California Models for Farmland Protection to be Profiled at 2015 Farmland Forum

March 27th will mark the 11th year the Ontario Farmland Trust has hosted a Farmland Forum to discuss emerging farmland protection concerns. And, the 2015 Ontario Farmland Forum, Pursuing Diverse & Collaborative Approaches to Farmland Protection, is going to be the best yet!

The 2015 Forum will feature two innovative models of farmland protection from the United States. Douglas Wolfgang, Director of the Pennsylvania State Bureau of Farmland Preservation will speak to the state’s leading farmland easement program, and the partnerships with municipalities and land trusts that have resulted in the permanent protection of more than 4,700 farms and 500,000 acres in the past 25 years.

Daniel O’Connell of the American Farmland Trust will share California’s experience in connecting greenhouse gas reduction targets and cap-and-trade investments with incentives for good land use planning – including firm urban growth boundaries, urban development ‘offsetting’ and farmland protection easement agreements with farmers.

Other forum sessions include: Tools for communicating the importance of farmland preservation; creating policy that enables vibrant local food economies; and the new Rouge National Urban Park vision for supporting near-urban agriculture.

This year’s forum is very topical and timely. We have a provincial government that is looking for new approaches and partnerships that strengthen the agricultural sector and the protection of our rich agricultural land resources.

Forum partners include the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, the University of Guelph School of Environmental Design & Rural Development, and Farms at Work.

Check out the full program here.

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