An apple orchard on a sunny day with mountains and a body of water behind.

Farmland Protection

Protecting valuable farmland and ensuring that it continues to be used for agriculture.
Protecting Farmland
Conserving Resources for Future Generations

Approximately 20 percent of the state’s land area, or nearly 7 million acres, is farmland. The Department works to protect valuable, at-risk farmland from development pressures and ensure that the land continues to be used for agriculture. Several programs are available to help partners develop and implement their farmland protection plans and to conserve this most precious resource for future generations.

Financial Opportunities
Ensuring the Future Viability of Agriculture

The Farmland Protection Planning Grants Program focuses on helping governments focus on the future of agriculture by creating farmland protection plans. These plans recommend policies and projects to maintain the economic viability of the State's agricultural industry and its supporting land base.

The Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program focuses on the implementation of farmland protection plans, including those created through the Farmland Protection Planning Grants Program, keeping the state’s farms forever in agriculture.

The Land Trust Grants Program awards state assistance to land trusts for activities that will assist counties and municipalities with their agricultural and farmland protection efforts.

Advisory Council on Agriculture
Advising on Matters Affecting Farmland Protection
The Advisory Council on Agriculture advises the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets and other state leaders on matters affecting agricultural districts and farmland protection.
Farmland Protection Working Group
Examining Renewable Energy Facilities and Agriculture
The Farmland Protection Working Group recommends strategies to the State on the siting process of major renewable energy facilities and to minimize the impact of siting on productive agricultural soils on working farms.