No Farms, No Food: Uniting Farmers and Environmentalists to Transform American Agriculture

Published by Island Press on April 14, 2022

No Farms, No Food by Don Stuart

America’s farms are key to the preservation of vital ecosystems and a stable climate. Yet farmers and environmentalists have not always seen eye to eye about the best ways to manage agricultural landscapes. Since 1980, the American Farmland Trust (AFT) has been bringing people together to work for healthy land and a healthy food system.

No Farms, No Food traces the development of this powerful coalition, responsible for landmark achievements in farmland preservation. It all began with Peggy Rockefeller’s determination to stop the inexorable urban sprawl that was threatening the nation’s agriculture.  From Peggy’s initial vision grew a small but astute organization, and more importantly, a formidable constituency of farmers and environmentalists united around a common cause.

With leadership from AFT, that constituency drove through Congress the first “Conservation Title” in the history of the U.S. Farm Bill; oversaw the development of agriculture conservation easement programs throughout the country; and continues to develop innovative approaches to sustainable agriculture.

No Farms, No Food takes readers inside the political and policy battles that determine the fate of our nation’s farmland. And it illustrates the tactics needed to unify fractured interest groups for the common good. No Farms, No Food is both an inspiring history of agricultural conservation, and a practical guide to creating an effective advocacy organization. For leaders of nonprofits, scholars of agriculture and the environment, and anyone who cares about the future of our food, farms, and environment, this is an essential read.

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