Six Farms Connect – a reason to celebrate!

The Merced County landowners who chose to protect their land with a farmland conservation easement are recognized by a celebration on October 3, 2019. (L-R): Denny Jackman (CFT board member), Nannette Kruppa (landowner), Pamela Magneson (landowner), Carl Kruppa (landowner), Gail Martin (landowner), Scott Magneson (landowner), Kathryn Slater (landowner), Mike Tanner (landowner), Ron Freitas (CFT President), Charlotte Mitchell (CFT Executive Director).

Together, six farms connect and expand farmland conservation.
A reason to celebrate!

California Farmland Trust (CFT) announces the conservation of six new farms in Merced County. Four adjacent farms have created a large area of closely protected farmland; while nearby two other properties join already previously protected areas.

Connected Farmland

Nearly 220 additional acres of California farmland are now conserved forever, resulting in a total of 16,200 acres administered by CFT. Like-minded farmers worked with CFT to permanently protect their properties through agricultural conservation easements.  The easements dedicate the land to farming and prohibit the conversion to non-agricultural uses, even if the land is sold or inherited.

“This is an important milestone for agriculture in the region,” said Charlotte Mitchell, CFT Executive Director. “When we can group farms with prime and important soils that are adjacent to one another through permanent conservation, we help farmers have the peace of mind to know their land investment will be forever agriculture and support the robust agricultural economy in California.”

All the properties remain separate parcels and are still owned individually; however, when viewed through the lens of their proximity to one another, their productivity as connected farmland increases and creates long-term opportunities for current and future farm operations and families.

The Gail Martin Trust Farm, Kruppa Farm, Kruppa Reed Farm, Magneson Property, Slater Trust Farm, and Tanner Farm encompass 220 acres of vibrant, productive land. They grow almonds, sweet potatoes, irrigated pasture for an organic dairy, and various row crops on Prime and Statewide Importance soils. As cities in the Central Valley continue to grow, each of these farms faced development pressure as city boundaries and spheres of influence grew even closer.

At the close of the Tanner Farm conservation project, Mike Tanner owner and operator shared with us, “I have always been an advocate for saving our best agricultural land for the production of food, fiber, and other products to sustain our lives. I have been involved with this ranch and its operation all my life. As we near the 100-year anniversary for our ranch, I am extremely proud to have been a part of it and for getting it placed into an agricultural conservation easement with the California Farmland Trust.”

Kruppa Farm and Slater Trust Farm  were permanently protected with funding from the Agricultural Land Mitigation Program, administered by the California Department of on behalf of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The Gail Martin Trust Farm was permanently protected with funding by the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program, administered by the California Department of Conservation and the Natural Resources Agency on behalf of the Strategic Growth Council. The program invests in agricultural land conservation with revenue from the California Climate Investments (CCI) Fund.

Expanding Conservation

In 2006, the Magneson family protected 472 acres with farmland conservation easements. This year CFT helped the Magneson’s add additional acreage to their network of land to bring their total of preserved farmland to nearly 500 acres. The Magneson’s currently operate an organic dairy with the conserved lands supporting grazing dairy cattle in accordance with organic standards and additional feed crops.

Celebrate

CFT hosted an easement celebration October 3rd at the Slater Trust Farm to recognize and thank those who chose to protect their farms. “My late father would be proud to know the first farm he purchased is now forever protected for agriculture,” said Gail Martin as part of her remarks to the morning crowd.

“Linking these properties through permanent conservation is a win-win for everyone,” continued Mitchell, “the landowners, the public, and the land.”

For more information or photos, please contact: Aundriea Montzingo amontzingo@cafarmtrust.org or (916) 687-3178

Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @cafarmtrust

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The California Farmland Trust is a California Non-Profit 501(c)(3). Our mission is to help farmers protect the best farmland in the world. To date, we have protected nearly 16,200 acres of farmland on 73 family farms. Visit us: www.cafarmtrust.org

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The Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment– particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling, and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California. For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website at: www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov. Twitter: @CAClimateInvest