As we celebrate NH Eat Local Month, we remember to thank our local farmers! A strong local food system is the foundation of a healthy community. And land is the foundation of our food system.
More specifically, it is the land security of our farmers. We need to insure that farmers have secure access to land. Farmland needs to be available, affordable and on equitable terms, if we are to create a better food system.
Among the many challenges we face are an aging farmer population, and that farmland is both costly and disappearing. 70% of our nation’s farmland is expected to change hands in the next two decades. Without focused effort, much of that land will go out of farming, and with it, the hopes of a new generation of passionate and savvy farmers.
The future of our food system depends in large part on the successful transition of farms from one generation or owner to another. Traditional methods of farmland access and transfer are no longer adequate to address today’s challenges.
If where your food comes from matters to you and your community, then you need to be concerned about keeping the farmers who produce that food on the land in a way that they can plan for the future of their business – and their farm’s legacy.