In less than a year, the City Planning Department organized a task force to assess management of city-owned farmland and consider policies that would make that land available for food production. Over thirty meetings were held in seven months, involving an Executive Committee and three research teams that reviewed policies, and considered land characteristics and land access. They recently released the Task Force on Farmland Preservation Final Report, with recommendations, analysis and an extensive list of resources.
The Task Force developed 47 recommendations in 4 topic areas.
- Land Use Planning,
- Staffing & Task Forces,
- Land Leasing & Soil Contamination,
- Zoning & Land Use, and
- An Implementation Matrix that identifies responsible parties for each recommendation and the expected time frame of implementation.
The 230 page report contains relevant and detailed information and analysis on 16 different topics and a list of resources with historical background, expert knowledge, and broader context for the work carried out by the Task Force. For instance, there is detailed information on farmland preservation programs in Davis, California, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and farmland access programs in Boulder, Colorado, Cuyahoga, Ohio, and Providence, Rhode Island.
The report, together with the Dane County Pandemic Food System Study, released in March 2023, provide updated information on food systems planning. Several of the people involved in these studies are CIAS community partners and active on the Madison Food Policy Council and the Dane County Food Council.