Aleta Botts: Farms We Know and Love as Kentuckians are at Risk - Kentucky Farm Bureau

Aleta Botts: Farms We Know and Love as Kentuckians are at Risk

Posted on May 2, 2024
Aleta Botts, KFTI Project Coordinator

Where there was once a farm is now a subdivision. Or an industrial park. Or a highway.

Where there was once land that produced food is now asphalt, pavement, concrete, dug into the soil with footers and foundations and manmade structures designed to withstand nature’s greatest forces.

We all see it. We drive past these new developments that often retain the word “farm” in their name. We learn of a new project that will consume thousands of acres that have been farmland for as long as we and our parents and our grandparents could remember.

The farms we know and love as Kentuckians are at risk. They have been for some time, but the demands on farmland just keep on increasing. And if we do not act, the pavement, the concrete, and the asphalt will just keep consuming it.

Into this challenge, we launched the Kentucky Farmland Transition Initiative. Through this Initiative, we hope to help people learn more about how to keep farmland in the hands of active farmers, connect people who care about this topic and are working with farmers, and look into what policies could make a difference in this battle.

Through it all, we want to share the stories of farmland that is passing to farmers and how that transition happened. We need to see these stories as a way forward, a way to turn off the pathway we are on where land used for agriculture is placed at a lower significance than nearly any other use of land.

It’s a tough road.

Way too often land used to produce our food, our fiber, and the necessities of our life is treated as less a priority than almost any other use. And many people look at the path we are on and say that it is just the price of progress.

But is it progress? When we pave an acre, it does not come back. When we have investor groups buying up farmland just to lease it back to the same farmers who sold them the land, we have to ask ourselves just what path we want to be on and what kind of future we want for our kids and grandkids.

Because this raises difficult questions both within families, but also within communities, too often we decide not to have that difficult conversation.

It’s time for those conversations to happen.

Within families, towns, counties, and our state, we have to ask ourselves whether we will prioritize the farmland we have left.

The Kentucky Farmland Transition Initiative website – – is a place for resources on this topic and also a place to offer your own thoughts and experiences with the issue. Together, we can forge a new path to help Kentucky farmland stay in production.

Aleta Botts, KFTI Project Coordinator


Post a Comment

Required Field