PLN News: January 2017

About the Private Landowner Network

How a Washington County farmer is working to fight hunger in Maine

MILBRIDGE, Maine — Farmer Michael Hayden held a bulb of his homegrown garlic aloft recently while a group of giggling children at Milbridge Elementary School tried to identify the mystery vegetable.

“Radish!” one shouted. “Onion?” another guessed. One little boy waved his hand in the air with confidence and said, “Oh, I think I know. It’s the thing that vampires don’t like.”

Read more about "Farmer Mike's" work to alleviate food insecurity in rural Maine.

The Cattleman Talks: Texas Farm & Ranch Lands Conservation Program

The Texas Farm & Ranch Lands Conservation Program, through which the State helps pay for the acquisition of agricultural conservation easements, "hist the bulls-eye on a number of important statewide priorities,” says Carter Smith, Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

“That’s true whether we’re talking about keeping farmers and ranchers on the land, keeping working lands working, protecting the source of our drinking water, conserving our wildlife habitat, maintaining what makes Texas so special, and supporting our rural economies and communities across Texas."

Read more here.

Together panthers and ranchers can keep Florida wild

A male Florida panther travels through an oak hammock at the edge of a cypress strand at Babcock Ranch State Preserve near Ft. Myers. The first female panther documented north of the Caloosahatchee River since 1973 was tracked by state biologists to a nearby trail in November 2016. Photo by Carlton Ward Jr. / National Geographic Creative.
"The panther is going to have to help us save Florida," said Cary Lightsey, whose family has been ranching in Florida since the 1850s and now protects essential parcels of the Florida Wildlife Corridor.

Read the article.

Ag study sees environmental gains hitting plateaus

WASHINGTON — “The National Indicators Report,” recently published by Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, said the upward trajectory of environmental outcomes since 1980 affecting many agricultural practices was starting to plateau...

“On the whole, the crops assessed have produced more yield on less land with improved environmental outcomes on a per-unit-of-production basis,” the report said. “This continued improvement has also contributed to reduction in loss of soil carbon.”

But continued improved sustainability outcomes may require redoubled efforts, Field to Market said.

Read the article.

WAFWA Secures First Conservation Easement for Lesser Prairie-Chicken Habitat on Private Land

The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has finalized permanent conservation agreements with a private landowner to conserve 1,781 acres of high-quality lesser prairie-chicken habitat in south-central Kansas. This is the first permanent conservation easement in the mixed-grass prairie region secured as part of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Plan.

Read the article.
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Photo: Trey Ratcliff

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Last chance to sign up for Conservation Stewardship Program!
Applications to enroll in the 2017 Conservation Reserve Program are due Friday, Feb. 3.

The program helps agricultural producers maintain and improve existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resource concerns.

Apply now!
A Look Forward:
Ag Law in 2017

It appears that 2017 could be an important year for a number of agricultural law issues. From the Clean Water Act, to “Ag Gag” legislation, to the Endangered Species Act, there are a number of pending cases that could have major impacts on the agricultural industry in the coming year.

Take a look at four of this year's biggest cases.


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