Founded in 1990 by local farmers and agribusiness representatives, ASA is a 501[c] non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of farmland in the Washington County area. We help farmers and other landowners protect their land through the use of conservation easements. To date, we have protected over 3,500 acres of farmland.
Benefits Agriculture Provides the Community
Washington Countys farm economy, one of the most important in the state, produces $77.5 million in farm product sales annually.
As a key economic activity, agriculture contributes directly to the economic prosperity of our communities. Many jobs and businesses in our towns and villages wouldnt exist without farming. In fact, agriculture provides approximately 1,472 full and part-time jobs for local people.
Farmland generates more in tax revenues than it requires in services, providing a tax-base advantage for surrounding communities. For every dollar farming generates, farmland requires $.16 in services compared to residential land that requires $1.40 in services for every dollar it generates.
Farmland occupies nearly 40% of the land base, shaping much of the countys landscape.
Beyond the direct value of farm products, the infrastructure required to produce them also contributes millions of dollars every year to the local economy. Each dairy, for example, spends up to half or more of its gross revenue on supplemental feed, much of which is provided by locally based suppliers. Overall, local farms spend over $61 million each year on local goods and services.
Farms are an invaluable resource containing important soils, wildlife habitat, water recharge areas, scenic views and open space. Our agricultural communities promote a unique and valued lifestyle. The loss of agriculture and its scenic and historic landscapes will profoundly affect this lifestyle and the countys tourism appeal.