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Sept. 2, 2021
By Will ClarkU of A System Division of Agriculture
(Newsrooms — with art at https://bit.ly/2WNoW5i)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The nation’s farmland is facing constant and increasing pressure
from development — especially in densely populated areas — with farm acreage declining
by nearly 10 million acres from 2007-17, according to Census of Agriculture.
However, there are Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement, or PACE, programs
aimed at preserving the nation’s farmland for continued food and fiber production.
These programs will be the subject of a free webinar Sept. 15 hosted by the National
Agricultural Law Center.
This webinar will run from noon-1p.m. EDT/11 a.m.-noon CDT. Learn more and register
for the webinar here: https://bit.ly/3mdZXlT.
PACE programs protect farmland in densely populated areas through the purchase of
development rights by a governmental agency, while enabling the farmer to continue
owning and farming the land.
One example is the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, or ACEP, an initiative
of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, part of the United States Department
of Agriculture. This program has conserved 4.4 million acres of wetlands and agricultural
lands with a total value of more than $1 billion.
The webinar will include an explanation of how these programs are established and
developed, background on federal programs like ACEP as well as their state-level counterparts
and discussion on how programs identify, evaluate and select land for program enrollment.
Public commitment to preservation
The presenter for this webinar is Ross H. Pifer, a Clinical Professor of Law at Penn
State Law. He also serves as director of the Center for Agricultural and Shale Law
and Director of the Rural Economic Development Clinic. Pifer will provide an overview
of these programs and legal issues raised by their implementation.
“Through the operation of these programs over the past quarter-century, state and
local governments have demonstrated a public commitment towards the long-term goal
of farmland preservation,” Pifer said. “I think this commitment is particularly important
in those geographic areas with a rapidly growing population where productive farmland
could be at risk without an operational PACE program.”
“PACE programs are a traditionally regional issue that impact more densely-populated
areas,” NAL Center Director Harrison Pittman says. “Therefore, as a part of the National
Agricultural Law Center’s mission to serve a national audience we are looking forward
to Ross sharing his expertise and insight on the topic through the NALC webinar series.”
For more information on the National Agricultural Law Center, visit https://nationalaglawcenter.org/ or follow @Nataglaw on Twitter.
About the National Agricultural Law Center
The National Agricultural Law Center serves as the nation’s leading source of agricultural and food law research and information.
The Center works with producers, state and federal policymakers, Congressional staffers,
attorneys, land grant universities, and many others to provide objective, nonpartisan
agricultural and food law research and information to the nation’s agricultural community.
The Center is a unit of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
and works in close partnership with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, National
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal
access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to
participate or need materials in another format, please contact 479-575-4607 as soon
as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.