LandWatch recently intervened on the side of a fifth-generation farming family to help protect agricultural land in Jefferson County. Kevin Richards and his family grow hay, hybrid carrot seed, Kentucky bluegrass seed, peppermint oil, and wheat on their Fox Hollow Ranch near Madras.
When the county approved an application for a housing development on land zoned exclusively for agricultural uses, the Richards family appealed because of the impacts this development would have on their full-time commercial farming operation. LandWatch is fighting alongside the family at the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals and arguing that unneeded development on farm land makes life harder for real commercial farmers.
The decisions we make now will have far reaching consequences for the future... Can you imagine how unaffordable farm and ranch land would become if speculators could develop it with subdivisions, event venues, and private recreation?
Agriculture is an important part of Central Oregon’s cultural heritage and supports a resilient local food system. Farm and ranch land has remained available for family farmers in Central Oregon because of protections put in place by our statewide land use planning system.
LandWatch is here to help families like the Richards by protecting the cherished agricultural land in our region. It is integral to the continued health and sustainability of Central Oregon that we uphold protections for this land so that generations of families like the Richards may continue to work for an economically and environmentally viable future for the region.