Thursday, March 12, 2009

Losing Farmland

E-I-E-I-Ohhhhh .... Farmers bemoan shrinking farm acreage
By Andy Johns,
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
updated 11:47 p.m. MT, Tues., March. 10, 2009

Chattanooga, Tenn. - In 2007, Dorothy Jones came very close to becoming a statistic.
About to turn 60 with arthritis creeping into a few of her joints, she put 30 acres of the farm her father bought in the 1940s up for sale.

"I was tired," she said, sitting with her husband, Mac, on the front porch of her home at the Harrison farm.

After the farm was on the market for a year, she decided she would take down the "For Sale" sign and get back into the fields, bringing in goats and cattle where her father had grown strawberries and cotton.

"Everything about this place reminds me of how hard my dad worked," she said.

But many farmers in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia didn't have the same change of heart as Mrs. Jones. The three states lost 1.5 million acres of farmland between 1987 and 2007, a 5 percent decrease, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2007 Census of Agriculture released in February. Read More

The loss of farm land needs to start being a concern of this entire country. It’s not just the land that is being developed either. There is also land that is being taken out of production by activist judges, zoning restrictions, and others. All of these continue to add up and threaten the ability to produce enough food and fiber for our country.

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