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Local farmland is disappearing, fast. In San Mateo County alone, we have lost 35% of our farmland over the last 30 years. If it continues at this rate, there will soon be none left. At Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), we believe that it’s possible to save local farms for the benefit of us all. It’s a complex challenge that will involve a combination of land acquisition, legal land protection and strategic investments in farmland infrastructure. After nearly three decades of protecting working lands, POST is ready and we hope you are too.
Since launching the Farmland Futures Initiative (FFI) in February 2016, POST has protected four farms, bringing us closer to the goal of protecting 22 additional farms by 2026.
POST started FFI with a campaign goal of raising $25M to fund farmland protection ($24M) and infrastructure improvements ($1M). To date, POST has raised $9.14M, 36% of our fundraising goal We are incredibly grateful to the supporters who have helped to launch this campaign. To make a gift to the Farmland Futures Initiative, please contact Linda Chin at lchin [@] openspacetrust.org.
Our goals are simple: POST wants to raise $25 million in order to triple the amount of protected farmland acreage and triple the number of protected farms on the San Mateo Coast within ten years.
POST uses a time-tested methodology for evaluating working lands for acquisition and protection. For FFI, we have adapted our traditional project evaluation criteria to prioritize agricultural values. Once we’ve done our analysis, we work with willing landowners to purchase the land or to preserve it with legal protections called “conservation easements.” Easements allow the land to stay in agricultural production while removing the threat of development and protect the natural resources.
On the lands we own, we offer farmers long-term leases and invest in land improvement projects that are crucial to viable farming operations. The combination of land preservation, a reliable lease and infrastructure that works well ensure that we achieve the conservation outcomes that we all want to see.
Download our Farmland Futures Initiative brochure here.