Farming is important to the Highlands Region. There are almost 250,000 acres of farmland in the Highlands. Most of these lands are in the Planning Area. 118,000 acres are considered high quality priority lands according to the State Agricultural Development Committee (SADC).
Farmland preservation is an important goal. SADC has preserved 22,948.33 acres in the Highlands since 1987 at a total cost of over $176 million. In 2005 SADC preserved 2494.5 acres. Over the past 5 years, SADC has been involved in projects that have preserved 2000-3400 acres a year in the Highlands. SADC has allocated $15 million for this year and next year for acquisition of agricultural easements in the Highlands region.
The Highlands Council supports farming and sustainable farming practices. The Council has works collaboratively with the Department of Agriculture, NRCS, SADC and farm organizations. It actively supports the farmland preservation program and adequate funding for farmland preservation. It has addresses agricultural issues in Council committees and in its Sustainable Agriculture
Technical Advisory Committee.
The Council wants to ensure that farming continues in the Highlands for generations to come.