Reason 5: To protect our farmland
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Maryland has a long history of agricultural productivity that continues today, as evidenced by the more than 2 million acres of farmland within the state. Maryland has worked to preserve nearly 700,000 acres of land under conservation easement*, protecting this land from development. Farmers have provided local produce to nearby communities and established popular farmer's markets to serve neighbors needs. Despite this history and conservation efforts, 500,000 acres of farmland were lost to development between 1982 and 2007 - or one-fifth of the farmland that existed in 1982. Sprawling development patterns have placed increasing value on these lands for development, pressuring Maryland farmers to remove their farms from productive agriculture.