About

Our Mission is to protect and preserve Ontario farmlands and associated agricultural, natural and cultural landscapes of food production for the benefit of Ontarians today and future generations.

A vision for the Ontario Farmland Trust (OFT) first emerged at a forum hosted by the University of Guelph’s Farmland Preservation Research Project in 2002. Here, farmers, land conservationists, planners, and academics worked together to lay the foundation for OFT – an organization with the unique ability to support grassroots, farmer-led and community-driven action on farmland protection.

In 2004, OFT was incorporated as Canada’s first province-wide agricultural land trust. Building on its university connections, OFT collaborated with researchers to publish a book titled Farmland Preservation: Land for Future Generations. OFT went on to develop new resources as part of a ‘Places to Grow Food’ campaign that supported comprehensive planning for farmland, agriculture, and regional food systems. 

In 2005, OFT was instrumental in having the Conservation Land Act amended to enable agricultural conservation easements in Ontario.

This opened doors for OFT to work on-the-ground with farmers and communities in tangible ways to help them protect farmland and natural features of the countryside with Farmland Easement Agreements (also known as Conservation Easement Agreements or CEAs).  

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Since then, OFT has protected over 2500 acres of farmland on 22 farms. In addition to providing fresh, local food, these farms provide habitat to 15 provincially listed species at risk. OFT also regularly provides input on provincial land use planning policy to strengthen protections for farmland in Ontario, and has contributed to over 30 policy reform discussions. To help advance farmland protection through land-use planning policy, OFT also holds an annual Farmland Forum that brings together planners, farmers, researchers, policy makers, politicians, and conservationists to discuss new opportunities for farmland protection. OFT has also partnered with a number of organizations to provide resources to farmers and the public on a number of issues relating to farmland protection. Today, OFT is working with multiple farmers across the province to permanently protect their farms through Farmland Easement Agreements.

Farmland Loss

In the past 35 years, Ontario has lost 2.8 million acres (18%) of its farmland to non-agricultural land uses.

Meet Our Team

Ontario Farmland Trust Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Annual Reports