Loss of Agricultural Land -
The loss of land in Larimer County creates troubles between urban and rural communities. John Kefalas, county commissioner, provided information on the impact of these land losses and
A Right to Farm Policy. Beth Conrey, a member of the Agricultural Advisory Board explains the importance of water and how people don’t seem to understand where their food comes from.
“We’re losing 5,000 acres each year,” Kefalas said. “Farming is not an easy business to be in, finances are challenging.
A Right to Farm Policy helps farmers with a master and comprehensive plan. Mr. Kefalas explains the purpose of the idea.
“The purpose is to provide a framework where you want to see counties have land use, zoning districts, farming, ” Kefalas said.
Non-farmers do not understand this policy and move to rural areas not understanding how farming actually works. The urbanization of Larimer County makes farming difficult. It’s important that the agricultural land gets preserved especially due to the economic impact.
“Losing Ag land is an economic impact. People lose their jobs, it impacts others because it makes it harder to farm.” Kefalas said.
While the economic standpoint raises a concern to farmers, there’s also a huge push for whole foods. The importance of these agricultural lands relies a lot on nutritional foods. Kefalas stated that “It helps people to buy more nutritional foods.” Farmers grow the food which raises more of a concern to the loss of land.
“Larimer county went through processes to update the master plan, 6 main areas within a comprehensive plan that deals with watersheds,” Kefalas said. “There is a lot of competition for Agrigultaral water rights.”
Population growth in Larimer county requires more water. Efficient water supply is critical because water can help farmers obtain their land.
In 2017 a Farm/water sharing agreement was bought so farmers can contribute to their farm and the city can access the water when they need to,” Kefala said. “Cities will buy water rights from the farms.”
Another factor that plays a role in potentially saving the land is population growth because of the need for water.
Beth Conrey explains the need for water and its relation to population growth.
“Water needs to be more available,” Conrey said. “Non-agricultural people just don’t understand where their food comes from.”
Conrey explains how water is even more of a need.
“To even engage in agriculture, how do we get young farmers into farming when no water is available?” Conrey said.