Land: The New Gold


  • Julia Freedgood American Farmland Trust



Food Systems, Community Development, Sustainable Agriculture


First paragraphs:

In his thoughtful column for this issue, "Running Out of Land for Food," John Ikerd says, "the challenge of preserving enough farmland for food production will be a defining challenge for the 21st century." I couldn't agree more. Thus it is both timely and important that JAFSCD is addressing this critical issue.

I was fortunate enough to get to meet Lester Brown, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, in 2012 when he gave a keynote address at an American Farmland Trust (AFT) board meeting. He said something then that has stuck with me since: "Food is the new oil and land is the new gold." As such we must step up efforts to protect the quality and quantity of these most essential and precious resources.

AFT works to save the land that sustains us by protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Much of our current focus is to protect and conserve enough farmland to ensure food security today and for future generations. As for me, I have spent my career balancing these two interests — saving farmland on one hand and supporting sustainable food and farming systems on the other....


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Author Biography

Julia Freedgood, American Farmland Trust

Julia Freedgood is assistant vice president for programs at American Farmland Trust and lead author of Saving American Farmland: What Works. She developed the methodology for the Cost of Community Services studies, which have now been conducted in more than 150 U.S. communities to assess the contribution of farmland to local budgets. Freedgood works closely with agricultural constituencies from farmers and ranchers to USDA field personnel, municipal, county and state officials, and planners, academics and land trusts to ensure that agricultural land is available and affordable for farming and ranching, natural resources are managed with sound conservation practices, farmers and ranchers are economically viable, and communities support a secure and resilient food supply. She holds an master's in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University.



How to Cite

Freedgood, J. (2014). Land: The New Gold. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 4(1), 1–5.

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