Our promise to our landowners and our community is to keep Lancaster County agriculturally viable. The land, water, and wildlife that our farms protect are important assets to our farmers and our community.
For landowners, it’s not always easy to know what to do or who to contact about starting a conservation project. We connect our landowners with our network of local and regional technical service providers, local municipalities, and County government. With these partners, our farmers can develop strategies to improve their impact on local water quality and help achieve Chesapeake Bay requirements.
We explore and implement an innovative, acceleratory approach to water quality improvement that couples two proven strategies – the permanent protection of farmland and the implementation of conservation practices on agricultural lands. Linking the permanent preservation of strategic agricultural lands together with the implementation of cost-effective, priority agricultural practices will achieve maximum long-term impact on water quality in Lancaster County and in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Personal, honest, and open relationships with our landowners are the best way to meet our conservation goals.
Every industry has its own version of “best management practices.” In agriculture, we often refer to them as conservation practices. They are specific management practices a farmer implements to protect or conserve the natural resources of their farm. These practices serve the environment and, in turn, serve the farmer.
Agricultural conservation practices help eliminate unnecessary soil and nutrient loss. Using conservation practices balances the need to have “working” agricultural lands and protect natural resources.
Nearly every farm in Lancaster County uses one or more conservation practices. Some examples include no-till planting, cover crops, manure storage units, concrete barnyard areas, grass waterways, terraces, streambank fencing, livestock crossings in waterways, planting along the natural contours of the landscape, and planting in strips.
To see some of the farms and learn more about conservation practices, click here.
Lancaster County farms aren’t just beautiful, they’re smart! Working intimately with the landscape, farmers have always been stewards of the land.
Lancaster Farmland Trust’s Smart Farms program is an agriculturally and environmentally conscious program that assists local farmers in managing sustainable farms. With a variety of soil and water conservation practices available to farmers, Trust staff will help tailor a selection of practices that will provide long-term benefits for the farmer and the environment.
Are you already a preserved landowner interested in taking part?