The diversity of opinion on farmland preservation suggests that a close look at the issue is warranted as state and local governments consider how best to preserve the state's farmland resource. Public support for farmland preservation programs will be required if those programs are to be successful and will only be forthcoming if there is greater agreement about questions that underlie the policy debate. These questions include whether farmland loss is occurring, whether farmland preservation is needed, how farmland preservation programs should be designed, and what farmland should be preserved. This paper discusses each of these issues, in turn, and describes how current Michigan farmland preservation efforts are or are not addressing them.


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