Many in the farming community are trying to sound the alarm of the rapid disappearance of viable farmland across the country and the Pacific Northwest.  American Farmland Trust recently released report that says between 2016 and 2040, an estimated 18.4 million acres of farmland will be lost to development; that’s roughly 2,000 acres per day.  Cameron Mulrony, Executive Vice President of the Idaho Cattle Association said he’s seen the direct impact of urban sprawl on Idaho Ag, and he’s concerned the trend will only continue.

“What it is doing is it’s driving that marginal ground that maybe was irrigated pasture and alfalfa fields, now they have the technology to use that for corn, or potatoes or onions or whatever else, and we’re just driving the available ag lands out further and further to marginal ground.  So, it is pushing our industry out.”

Mulrony added it’s up to the ranching and farming community to talk about the impact this urban sprawl is having  on the Gem state, especially to thousands of people who have moved to the state in the past couple of years.

“Give the folks coming to this state an opportunity to learn a little bit about what it means here in Idaho, and all the things that they are maybe coming here for, open space, recreation on both federal and public lands, and those types of things, the reason that its’ here in Idaho and the reason it is the product that they like is because of a function ranching community.”

If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail glenn.vaagen@townsquaremedia.com