News & Events
Advancing Farmland Protection
In a first-of-a-kind collaboration, the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) and Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) are partnering on a regional initiative to enhance farmland protection and raise awareness of local food production.
The effort builds upon an earlier collaboration between the two land trusts, the Maine Department of Agriculture and Bowdoin College students, which created maps depicting agricultural soils, tax parcels and working farms in 12 towns. The maps are the foundation for building community appreciation for local farms; and they illustrate connections between agricultural soils and locally produced food. The new land trust collaboration involves outreach to farmers, towns, school districts and consumers to further promote the environmental and economic benefits of local agriculture to the Bath/Brunswick region.
With a grant award from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, BTLT and KELT have hired a shared staff member to act as a farmland project manager which allows the two land trusts to advance their shared mission of conserving local farms and promoting local agriculture. Chris Cabot started work in early October and will split his time between the two non-profit land conservation organizations. Cabot, who has a background in conservation work for various non-profits and state agencies in Maine, will focus on securing, preserving and stewarding threatened farmland in the southern Midcoast Maine region.
“This is an excellent opportunity to protect Maine’s rural character and support its agricultural economy by helping to ensure farmland in the region is protected from development pressures forever,” Cabot said. “The excitement and knowledge about the importance of local agriculture is growing, and this collaboration supports that trend.”
According to Farm Viability and Farmland Protection Specialist, Stephanie Gilbert, “The Maine Department of Agriculture believes this initiative will help communities understand that farmland protection can be approached in many ways to ensure that farmers work sustainably and profitably. In the coming months, we will meet with farmers, farmland owners, and county and federal agricultural agency and organizations to identify their needs for farm-friendly policies and marketing opportunities. Anyone wishing to be involved should please contact Chris Cabot at email@example.com.”Back to News & Events