From a speech given at the 26th annual convention of the Arizona Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Pheonix, Arizona.
Welcome to the literature area of the FIC Web site. Here you will find a collection of articles, books, fact sheets and technical memos, reports and studies related to saving farm and ranch land and supporting agriculture. You can filter by state, topic and/or type of document ("category"). Use the Search feature to conduct a more refined search.
At least thirty studies have been conducted in North America over the last twenty-plus years that measure amenity values generated by farmland. A review of these studies provides evidence that estimated farmland amenity values are sensitive to increasing acreage, regional scarcity, alternative land use(s), public accessibility, productivity quality, human food plants, active farming, and intensive agriculture. Farmland amenity values are also
sensitive to socio-demographic characteristics of beneficiaries. Inconclusive evidence is provided with respect to the effects of distance, agricultural land use, unique landscape features, property rights, and nonfarmland amenity substitutes. Implications of these results for future farmland amenity valuation research are discussed.
From a speech given at the 36th annual meeting of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
From a speech given at the Union League of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture.
A farm bill is a collection of new laws and amendments to longstanding laws that set the overall direction of federal food and farm policy for a specified number of years. Farm bills typically contain not only commodity price and income support provisions, but also provisions on agricultural trade, rural development, domestic food assistance, foreign food aid, conservation, crop insurance, farm credit, forestry, and agricultural research. The heart of most farm bills, however, is farm income and commodity price support policy.
Farm income support programs make payments to farmers to supplement their income without directly supporting commodity market prices. This type of support includes: (1) production flexibility contract (PFC) payments to wheat, feedgrain, cotton, and rice farmers; (2) loan deficiency payments for contract crops and oilseeds when market prices are lower than loan rates; (3) disaster relief payments; and (4) in recent years, ad hoc emergency “market loss payments.” Commodity price support programs directly impact the price of commodities by setting minimum prices, restricting production or sales, and/or regulating imports. These include the milk, peanut, sugar, and tobacco programs. Some farmers also receive federal payments for taking environmentally sensitive land out of production, for example, under the conservation reserve program.
This two-page handout summarizes some of the core ideas and principles of Smart Growth development.
From a speech given at the Soil and Water Conservation Service conference in Keystone, Colorado.
This report addresses this essential element of a Water Quality Trading system (WQT)—putting WQT and baselines into context, presenting current practices, identifying critical issues, assessing findings, and making recommendations. A shorter summary report, designed for policy makers and water quality trading program managers, discusses the types of agricultural baselines and why it is important to choose the right approach.
Every five years when the census of agriculture results are released new alarms are sounded about the advancing ages of farmers and what it will mean for farm structure and farm succession. Unfortunately, census collections through 1997 provided limited information to shed light on those concerns. This was particularly true since demographic data such as gender, age, race, and Hispanic ethnicity were collected only for the “principal” operator of each farm. However, for the 2002 Census of Agriculture information was collected for the first time on the total number of operators on each farm, and demographic information for the first three operators. Another key 2002 addition was asking how many individuals lived in the household of each operator.
This paper is one of the first attempts to glean meaning from the new questions. Most tables in the paper extract information already available in the 2002 Census electronic files. A few data tables were generated by reanalysis of the originally reported data for multiple operators of the same farm. All tables are available on the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Web site at www.usda.gov/nass/ under Census of Agriculture.
From a speech given at an awards banquet for Soil Conservation Service employees in East Lansing, Michigan.
This Guide is aimed at informing and supporting the development of Community Food Assessments as a tool for increasing community food security and creating positive change
Managing Growth in the Metropolitan Fringe Strips of urban and suburban "fabric" have extended into the countryside, creating a ragged settlement pattern that blurs the distinction between rural, urban, and suburban. As traditional rural industries like farming, forestry, and mining rapidly give way to residential and commercial development, the land at the edges of developed areas-the rural-urban fringe-is becoming the middle landscape between city and countryside that the suburbs once were.
When City and Country Collide examines the fringe phenomenon and presents a workable approach to fostering more compact development and better, more sustainable communities in those areas. It provides viable alternatives to traditional land use and development practices, and offers a solid framework and rational perspective for wider adoption of growth management techniques.
From a speech given at the National Association of Conservation Districts Northeast Regional Meeting in Hartford, Connecticut.
Of all private U.S. agricultural land, Whites account for 96 percent of the owners, 97 percent of the value, and 98 percent of the acres. Nonetheless, four minority groups (Blacks, American Indians, Asians, and Hispanics) own over 25 million acres of agricultural land, valued at over $44 billion, which has wide-ranging consequences for the social, economic, cultural, and political life of minority communities in rural America. This article presents the most recent national data available on the racial and ethnic dimensions of agricultural land ownership in the United States, based largely on USDA’s Agricultural Economics and Land Ownership Survey of 1999.
This is the first national study to measure the consumption of land for urbanization compared to population change for every U.S. metropolitan area. It finds that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the West is home to some of the densest metropolitan areas in the nation. By contrast, the Northeast and Midwest are in some ways the nation's biggest sprawl problems because their metropolitan areas added few new residents, but consumed large amounts of land. The report also examines variables associated with sprawl, density, and urbanization, and finds for example, that, all else being equal, metropolitan areas with large shares of foreign-born residents have higher densities and sprawl less.
Rural America is struggling. Family agriculture is gradually fading, and prime farmland is often converted into environmentally harmful applications. But food cultivation has ecological consequences, too. Farms consume eighty percent of the nation’s water. Although they often prevent sprawling development, improve water quality, or provide wildlife habitat, they also pollute rivers, drain wetlands, or emit destructive greenhouse gasses. The loss of farms and damage to ecosystems are connected, and a major cause is the political deadlock between farmers and environmental activists.
Topics include incentives, regulations, government spending, environmental markets, growth management, climate change, public lands grazing, and the Federal Farm Bill. The book identifies characteristics of successful community programs to suggest a model for a prosperous, healthy future.