Smart growth and investment in Midwest downtowns and main streets have to occur now to secure the land that grows our food. That conclusion is from American Farmland Trust, which released a report called “Farms Under Threat 2040: Choosing an Abundant Future.” The report’s research shows that by 2040, more than three million acres, or nearly 5,000 square miles of farmland, may be lost to urban and low-density conversion across the Midwest. Six Midwestern states made the top ten list of the number of farmland acres getting converted to urban development by 2040. Those states include Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The report shows the loss will disproportionately affect smaller farms that often service local markets with fresh products. Many of those smaller farms also tend to bring new farmers into the profession and are instrumental in getting through the supply chain disruptions hitting grocery stores around the nation.
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