Support Agricultural Land Preservation & LandLink
Background: The preservation and protection of agricultural lands for the region's farming and ranching operations is a goal of the MRCOG Agriculture Collaborative, particularly for growing and processing products for local and regional consumption. The regional water plans also support the preservation of agricultural lands. However, technical and financial funding assistance is necessary to carry out significant agriculture land preservation strategies. Such strategies may include facilitating land linking activities, purchase or transfer of development rights, dedicating conservation easements, establishing land trusts, or special land use controls to enhance the value of agricultural lands in the region. Water conservation and efficiency of use should be a condition of any agricultural land preservation program.
Support Programs to Increase the Supply of Local Agricultural Products
Background: Both technical and financial skill building could open the possibilities for year-round agriculture production and increased value-added products developed by local food processors. Technical assistance to local food producers, business planning and other specialized training could result in season extension techniques, increased local food businesses and overall increases in the supply of local agriculture.
Support the Development of Farm-to-Market Connections for the Distribution of Locally-Grown Agricultural Products
Background: The MRCOG's Agriculture Collaborative is promoting the growth and expansion of local markets for local food and agricultural value-added products. Assistance and support to farmers markets throughout the region can improve the viability of local food and agricultural products. Other, more conventional markets such as restaurants and grocery stores present greater sales opportunities for local products. The Agriculture Collaborative seeks to introduce food producers to buyers to assure that local food is well represented in the marketplace.