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Different Ways of Measuring Success in Farmland Preservation

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Wednesday, 24 April 2019, 12:30

Wednesday, April 24, 2019. 12:30PM. Different Ways of Measuring Success in Farmland Preservation. Tom Daniels, University of Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Department of Agriculture, Food, and Resource Economics. More information here.


Preserving large farming landscapes is one of the main goals of farmland preservation programs. Creating large blocks of preserved farmland take time, however, because of the hefty funding requirements and the detailed process of preserving farmland through the acquisition of conservation easements by purchase or donation. The standard measures of dollars spent and farmland acres preserved do not give an accurate picture of the spatial outcomes of preservation and preservation effectiveness. Three other measures better reflect the spatial effectiveness of farmland preservation: the acreage and percentage of preserved farm parcels located in agricultural zones, the number and acreage of preserved farm parcels in large contiguous blocks, and the number and acreage of preserved farm parcels along growth boundaries. Scattered preserved farms and preserved farms not located in agricultural zones are likely to face more non-farm development nearby as well as problems with non-farm neighbors. The farmland preservation effort in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, provides an important case study of the pattern of farmland preservation over time. Other counties and land trusts can employ the geographic information systems (GIS) methods in this study to monitor and evaluate the progress of their farmland preservation efforts.

Location  Cook Office Building, 55 Dudley Road, Room 118, New Brunswick, NJ