Farmland Preservation Program: Northwest Arkansas Land Trust Announces Expansion

November 05, 2020

By: Walter G. Wright

Category: Agriculture , Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law

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The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust (“Trust”) announced an expansion of its Farmland Preservation Program.

The Trust states that a $920,000 grant will:

. . . support two integrated efforts to connect farmers to land and resources and conserve vital farmland needed for growing fruits and vegetables at wholesale scale.

The program is stated to be a part of the Walton Family Foundation’s Northwest Arkansas Food Systems initiative.

The initiative’s objective is stated to include supporting:

  • Existing and new family farms
  • Promotion of healthy soil farming practices
  • Strengthening the local food system

The Trust states that the interest in small-scale faming in Northwest Arkansas (and across the nation) is impeded because of difficulty in accessing land.

Qualified farm seekers are stated to be able to pursue two potential paths through the Trust program. They include:

  • Lease-to-Own Farmland
  • Purchase Conserved Farmland

The Trust also notes that farmland owners in Benton, Carroll, Madison, and Washington Counties:

. . . interested in selling or leasing their property and furthering their farm legacy may participate and could possibly qualify for matching stewardship funding.

The land eligible for stewardship funding for conservation is stated to be evaluated on:

  • Soil type
  • Water resources
  • Other factors

Also referenced are conservation easements. Such easements are stated to potentially include farming activities and provide landowners with federal tax deductions and other financial benefits.

A copy of the news release can be downloaded here.

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