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Protecting Agricultural Lands

FarmMany parts of Southeast Michigan’s rural areas contribute to both the state’s and the region’s agricultural economies. However, farming in Southeast Michigan has been diminishing over the years. A significant reason for this decline is the direct and indirect effects of urban development. Many communities in the region that still have extensive farming operations face the dilemma of how best to sustain a strong agricultural production system, while addressing the demand for development. 

Success in protecting agricultural land is dependent on creating the appropriate planning options that will result in a balanced development pattern. For a community seeking to protect agricultural lands, the focus should be limiting development in predominantly agricultural areas and providing for development away from prime agricultural lands. 

Specific benefits include:  

  • Maintains the most productive agricultural land for food production today and in the future.
  • Reduces development pressures on protected farmlands.
  • Discourages fragmentation of farmland for other land uses.
  • Provides an area for stormwater infiltration and groundwater recharge.
  • Generates more in tax revenue received in public services.
  • Protects rural character.

Tools to Protect Agricultural Land 
There are several tools communities can draw from to protect agricultural land including: 

For more information on state farmland preservation efforts, please contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture.