Land Trust | The Lexicon of Sustainability | PBS Food

Land Trust


In some parts of the United States, a farm is worth more for its real estate than for what it grows, and as profitability becomes increasingly illusive, some farmers look to sell off their land. Bob Berner explains how land trusts provide guidance and economic support in the form of conservation easements to keep farms in production and provide community with cultural continuity.

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Food Terms

Land trust
A private nonprofit organization that actively works to conserve land by undertaking or assisting in land or conservation acquisition, and stewardship of such land or easements.

Conservation easement
The Trust purchases the development rights to a piece of farmland to insure it stays in its current use. In exchange, these ranchers receive cash, which they can use to invest in improvements, expand operations, pay off debts etc.
– LOCAL: The New Face of Food and Farming in America, by Douglas Gayeton

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Featured in the Film

Robert Berner
Nicasio, California
Bob Berner served as Executive Director of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) from1984 through 2012. Created in 1980, MALT was the first land conservation organization in the U.S. organized exclusively to preserve agricultural land.

Walter Clark
SwansieÂ’s Patch
Orchard Creek Farm
Lansing, North Carolina
Walter is the executive director of the Blue Ridge Conservancy. He has a long history of environmental education, policy, and management. In his spare time, Walter and his partner operate a blueberry farm in Ashe County, North Carolina.

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