New data from American Farmland Trust’s Farmland Information Center reveal that private land trusts have permanently protected 3 million acres of U.S. farm and ranch land.

Roughly a quarter was saved in partnership with state and local purchase of agricultural conservation easement (PACE) programs. Together, land trusts and public programs have protected about 5 million acres for agriculture. A small number of land trusts did most of the work: 52 land trusts protected 95 percent of the land, and 55 hold 87 percent of the easements.

These organizations tend to be located in states with PACE programs, leaving parts of the country without a viable option for agricultural landowners interested in permanent protection. A Nationwide Survey of Land Trusts that Protect Farm and Ranch Land and a summary of these and other key findings is available at www.farmlandinfo.org.

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