Public Opinions About Farmland And Farmland Preservation: Results From A Survey In Kent County, Michigan
Retention of agricultural land has become a principal goal for Michigan and its local governments. Purchase of Development Rights is one farmland preservation policy option being considered by many local units of government. Maximizing the benefits from such a program requires an understanding of why the public is interested in farmland preservation. The type and magnitude of benefit will differ depending upon which land is targeted for preservation. This paper reports the results of a survey conducted to ask residents of Kent County, Michigan, what characteristics of farmland are important and how farmland preservation programs should be targeted. The survey also asked whether respondents would support farmland preservation. Results indicate that characteristics of farmland do matter and that support of a farmland preservation program is likely driven by program cost.
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