Fri, 15 January 2021
There are two fundamental issues that have always plagued me when it comes to farming. First, what do we do about urban sprawl and disappearing farm ground? Second, how can a person expect to start a successful farm and be a full-time farmer with land, input, and equipment costs being so high? So, when I was contacted by The Conservation Fund asking to be on the show and talk about their answers to these questions, I jumped at the chance.
The folks at The Conservation Fund are pro-agriculture, and they are particularly fond of locally produced farm goods that follow their model of sustainability. They also abhor disappearing farm ground. So, they are working to increase locally produced goods while slowing urban sprawl. Right now they are doing this in the 30 counties, metro area of Atlanta, Georgia as a pilot project. But the prospects are very good for expansion.
In this episode, I speak with Stacy Funderburke, who is heading up the "Working Farms Fund" on behalf of The Conservation Fund in the Atlanta metro area. This program aims to pay farmers the actual market cost for their farms. Once purchased, they place the farms into an agricultural easement so that they will be farmed in perpetuity. And this is when the fun really starts.
Once these two things have taken place they match up the particular farm with an experienced farmer, who has been leasing ground or working as an employee and is looking to start their own enterprise. Because the land has been placed in an agricultural easement the price is not driven up by demand from developers. This gives the new farmer a reasonable shot at purchasing the land. To begin the new farmer enters into a lease on the farm ground with an option to buy.
The Conservation Fund helps the new farmer with obtaining resources, sharing equipment, and developing markets. In exchange, the City Of Atlanta and its surrounding metro area have another local producer who can bring locally grown food to market in that area. It is a win/win/win situation. You don't need to be from Georgia to participate in this and be selected as one of the new farmers. We will tell you all about this in today's episode.
Connect with Stacy Funderburke and The Conservation Fund:
Direct download: OFI_969__The_Answer_To_Urban_Sprawl_And_The_Question__How_Can_I_Start_A_Farm_____Stacy_Funderburke___The_Conservation_Fund.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MST