Protecting Your Food Source
Every minute, two acres of farmland are irretrievably lost in the United States. That’s 120 acres an hour, 2,880 acres a day, and more than one million acres each year. Once developed, this acreage of gently sloping hills, fertile soils, and open fields is gone forever, replaced instead with parking lots, shopping malls and residential subdivisions.
The loss of farmland in the Northeast is particularly extreme, especially in the geography served by the Open Space Institute such as New Jersey, portions of western Massachusetts, and New York’s Hudson River Valley, rated by American Farmland Trust as one of the top ten most-threatened agricultural areas in the entire country. As land costs continue to escalate, working farms become more and more difficult to sustain in a shifting economic landscape.
Open Space Institute recognizes the value in keeping working family farms viable, as a source of local food production, connection to an historic past, basis for a sustainable economy, and as a supply source for nearby urban markets. Through conservation easements and direct acquisition, OSI supports Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) and local market economies, and helps farmers protect their land in perpetuity and ensure the likelihood that their farms remain viable and productive in the face of global competition, development pressures and other challenges.
Protecting working farms through preservation and conservation easements ensures farmers that the land they have worked sometimes for generations within their family can survive into a future where the source of our food becomes more important than ever.