Recently eight farmers changed the course of development in the Madera, Calif., area.

The growers jointly placed easements on their farmland, thereby directing development away from productive farmland. Now, California has received $2,470,500 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue this type of farmland protection work into 2003.

The money is part of $50 million allocated nationally through the Farmland Protection Program administered by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.