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In the late 1970s the United States Department of Agriculture and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality teamed up to complete the first National Agricultural Lands Study. The results of the study showed that the US was losing farmland at alarmingly high rates. Frustrated that traditional agricultural organizations weren’t devoting energy to this problem a group of philanthropists, environmentalists and farmers banded together in 1980 to form the American Farmland Trust, an organization focused on applying land conservation principles to agriculture.

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