From the St. Louis-Post Dispatch:

Despite tough financial times following the worst recession in decades, some states continue to spend millions of dollars to preserve American farmland and stem its rapid loss to development and suburban sprawl.

Advocates say the preservation efforts are needed to ensure food is available locally if the national distribution system is ever disrupted. They also say it helps maintain a way of life important to many Americans.

Twenty-five states have farmland preservation programs, and nearly half of them are in the densely populated Northeast, where the loss of fields to housing developments and shopping malls has been rapid and pressing. After losing 21 percent of its farmland in less than two decades, Connecticut increased spending on preservation efforts.

In hard times, states still spend to protect farms