Over the next ten years, more than four million acres of farmland in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania will likely change hands as aging farmers begin to retire (Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2012 Agricultural Census). How this land is used and whether sustainable farming practices are put into place will have a major impact on health of the Chesapeake Bay.
This year, CBF worked to reach the next generation of farmers. We expanded the Grazer's Network, a farmer-to-farmer mentoring program that encourages the use of rotational grazing and other sustainable practices. In addition, we launched Mentors in Agricultural Conservation, a program that pairs students interested in agriculture with CBF restoration specialists to learn conservation techniques and receive job training.
CBF also helped individual landowners and farmers make their operations more sustainable. We worked with 386 farmers to fence livestock from waterways, build buffers along streams and creeks, and access cost-share dollars.
Photo Credit: 1. BJ Small/CBF Staff, 2. Jay Fleming.