This spring, Rhode Island’s state funding for farmland conservation is rapidly approaching zero for the first time since 1981. There is a backlog of over 40 farms that have been approved for permanent protection, but not enough funding to protect them. Leaving the farmland protection program unfunded will halt the program altogether and leave at least $5 Million in federal funding on the table. Learn more about the importance of funding farmland here.
The only avenue left open for replenishing state farmland conservation funds is through appropriation bills in the General Assembly. There are two such bills (Senate Bill 560 and House Bill 6018) making their way through the legislature. The farmland preservation program will not be funded without a strong outpouring of public support.
House Bill 6018 has been scheduled for a hearing this Wednesday, May 17th. Please contact your legislators to let them know that farms are important, and Rhode Island needs to continue conserving its farmland!
Submit written testimony by Tuesday afternoon to ensure that it gets in the record before the hearing! Learn more about submitting testimony here.