A community land trust project to preserve a productive Missoula farm, make it affordable for a beginning farmer, and ensure the land continues to provide food for the community into the future.
Trust Montana is currently raising funds to purchase Corner Farm from a conservation-minded seller. Corner Farm is a productive 8-acre farm that has been under development pressure. The current owner of the farm is developing homes on the less-productive edge of the land while selling the farm land to Trust Montana for long-term stewardship. Trust Montana will hold the land for the benefit of the community, ensuring it is always affordable and actively-farmed.
The plan: $261,700 has already been committed to the project. Trust Montana is working to raise $476,499 additional dollars from Open Space funds, private grants, and donors in order to purchase the land and preserve it.
Please consider donating to Trust Montana to help us purchase and protect our first farmland property in Missoula County. Trust Montana, Inc. is a 501(c)3, and all donations are tax deductible.
The funding we raise will enable Trust Montana to:
- Purchase the farm from the current owner; and
- Provide farm businesses with affordable and secure access to this high-quality land and water, through a ground lease.
More information about the project
Why is the Corner Farm Village Project So Important?
Across the world, valuable farmland is rapidly being converted to other uses, especially housing. In the United States alone, an estimated average of 2,000 acres of farmland a day were lost or degraded from 2001-2016.
Prime farmland has unique soils that are excellent for growing the food we all need to survive. It’s also typically flat and well-drained, making it highly desirable for development. Yet, we can have houses without sprawling across the countryside and paving over these finite, irreplaceable resources. There are alternatives.
Corner Farm Village demonstrates one alternative to business-as-usual by protecting valuable farmland, by nurturing a new generation of farmers to care for the land, and by providing climate-smart homes for the community
This high-quality, prime agricultural soil (Grantsdale Loam) has been farmed organically for 15 years. The riparian zone provides much needed flood control and habitat.
The City of Missoula’s growth policy has identified this area as valuable, prime agricultural land. The urban agriculture overlay recognizes the importance of agriculture in Missoula both historically and for its potential to provide for the future food needs of the community. The overlay supports the conservation of agricultural land through the use of conservation and clustering of development to ensure that this critical resource is available. Small scale agricultural operations are encouraged along with limited associated retail on site.
The collective goals of the project partners are to:
- Strengthen the resilience of our local and regional food system.
- Utilize the CLT tool for ag land preservation in Montana for the first time – permanently protecting the land while ensuring its affordability for farmers.
- Permanently protect an eight-acre farm that has prime ag soils and provides healthy food for our community.
- Provide a young farmer with an affordable, long-term, ground lease.
- Enhance farm viability with a farm stand and café featuring local food.
- Cluster homes and farm-related buildings on the lesser quality land at the edge of the farm.
- Build 12 homes, organized as a housing cooperative.
- Design buildings for the 21st century with climate change and sustainability in mind.
- Care for the land without synthetic chemicals and promote ecological diversity.
- Conserve the riparian area and protect water resources.
- Provide natural flood control.
- Respect the path the Séliš-Ql̓ispé have always shown us in caring for the land and waters.