How do we want to grow? This is an important question that Central Oregon LandWatch addresses in a new video we are producing to educate our community about the threat of rapid development and to convey the importance of protecting agricultural land in perpetuity for not only future farmers and ranchers in Central Oregon, but also for all of our community members.
From Central Oregon LandWatch’s website:
“Farming and ranching is a critical aspect of Central Oregonians’ identity and our resilient economy. Since the 1970’s, agricultural lands have been protected in Oregon by exclusive farm use (EFU) zoning that prevents nonfarm uses from taking over agricultural land. For years, this policy has kept Oregon’s agricultural economy strong in part by keeping the cost of land reasonable for new farmers and ranchers, or established farmers and ranchers wishing to expand their operations.
Over the next two decades, Oregon agriculture as we know it may face a debilitating crisis when much of the state’s agricultural land passes to new ownership as a large number of farmers and ranchers begin to retire. “How that land changes hands, who acquires it, and what they do with the land will impact Oregon for generations” (The Future of Oregon’s Agricultural Land, p. 5).”