Agricultural Stewardship AssociationAgricultural Stewardship Association

Field Notes Blog


May 16, 2023
Growing Roots: Empowering Farmers and Creating Lasting Bonds to the Land

As a land trust that focuses on protecting land in perpetuity (a very, very long time), you can probably understand why we devote a considerable amount of effort to thinking about time. Not to the extent that a geologist ponders millions and billions of years of activity; but we certainly consider the well-being of our communities far beyond our lifetimes.

We constantly ask ourselves important questions. Are the agreements that we place on these lands worded appropriately so they will endure in perpetuity? Have we set aside sufficient funding today to ensure that we will be able to steward, enforce, and defend these agreements in the distant future? Are we creating opportunities today to connect children to nature and working lands? Have we empowered the next generation of conservationists to value land protection?

Our work intrinsically makes us focus on future generations. It’s always amazing to hear the history of the farm families that we partner with in conserving their lands. In this edition of Forever Farmland, you’ll meet the Sheffers. Their ties to their farmland go back to pre-revolutionary times. This longevity creates a generational bond with the land. When they decided to protect their land with ASA in perpetuity, they were surely thinking about future generations.

We recognize that not all landowners have been able to maintain and steward their land. We know that history has not been equitable. For some, ties to the land were severed. This leads us to ask ourselves more questions. What role can we as an organization play to help reunite what was lost? Perhaps, more poignantly, how can we help people heal? As we look to the future, we want to strive to empower all farmers to have access to productive land to grow food, fiber, and forest products.

In essence, we want to be one step closer to ensuring everyone has that generational bond to the land.

Ticket(s) Added to Cart!

Go to Cart