America’s farm and ranch land continues to be developed at an unprecedented rate. At the latest count, more than 40 acres of ranch and farm land is developed every hour in the U.S.
Development is not the only issue facing ranchers today, In areas like Texas, extended drought a few years back forced ranchers to sell their livestock, and many never recovered. And the continually rising median age of ranchers, like farmers, (58+) is cause for concern, as more ranchers reach or pass retirement age.
When farm or ranchland is lost, the impact of that loss is felt far and wide, including:
- A loss of our rural heritage. Once land is developed, it is lost forever
- A significant decrease in area wildlife
- An economic downturn for rural communities that are supported by area farms and ranches
Family farms and ranches are the backbone of a healthy food system; providing meat and fiber, while working to conserve open space. As more farms and ranches disappear, more rural communities will disappear as well.
HMI works with farmers and ranchers, providing them with the tools they need to remain on their land, providing fresh, local, nutrient-dense food to their communities. To support our programs, or to make a contribution, please visit our website today.