Saving Family Farms and Ranches

1 decade 8 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, March 29 2007 Mar 29, 2007 Thursday, March 29, 2007 7:32:59 PM CDT March 29, 2007 in News
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Vera and Art Gelder's Boone County farm is anything but quiet, except for the long, winding, undeveloped road and land that lead to it.

But, with 3,000 acres of America's farms and ranches transformed daily into malls, parking lots and houses, Vera Gelder worries about farms like hers.

"As you can see, like in St. Louis and Kansas City, you know, again we're losing a lot of the farmland," she said. "And we've got to figure out some way to go ahead and preserve that or some way to keep those jewels in our crown."

That's why the American Farmland Trust held a workshop Tuesday night in Columbia to raise awareness of agriculture, conservation and preservation of mid-Missouri farms and ranches.

Tom Vernon, who helped plan the event, owns a vineyard along Nebo Cemetery Road.

"It affects all our lives in a way," he said. "If we want the country to have some balance between development and natural beauty, we need to do something."

Although it may be hard to preserve family farms, Gelder knows what it takes to run one.

"Yes, it's a lot of hard work," she admitted, "but it's worth it. It's well worth it."

The workshop's sponsors said ranches and farms account for 70% of America's wildlife habitat and they contribute $500 billion to the U.S. economy.

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