Protected Farmland Acreage Added In San Joaquin County

With the recent easement closings of two Machado Family Farms properties, California Farmland Trust (CFT) now protects an additional 246 acres of fruit and nut orchards and irrigated cropland in San Joaquin County. Located in Linden, these parcels, owned and operated by Mike and Diana Machado, are the second and third properties under the Machado Family to be placed in agricultural conservation easements (ACE). In 2015, Mike's father and mother placed their home ranch, started by Mike's grandparents, under an ACE with CFT.

Six years later, Mike and Diana are doing the same with their other properties. "Putting our land under agricultural conservation easements will preserve it for agricultural use, so if my children or their children want to farm, it'll be there," Mike Machado said. "This is part of a long-term plan for us to be able to preserve agriculture and land for our family and their future." A third-generation farmer and past state legislator representing the 5th State Senate District, Machado was introduced to CFT and ACEs while serving in office.

Combined with his farming background, he witnessed the need to protect our working landscapes, and recognized ACEs as a legal and viable way to do so. "The Machado family's attention to protecting farmland against urban development by implementing multiple ACEs demonstrates their clear dedication to being conservation leaders in agriculture and in their community," said Charlotte Mitchell, executive director at CFT. "These properties are within a short radius of the town of Linden and would likely be paved over due to sprawl, so their commitment to protecting this land will help bring awareness and promote efficient growth in San Joaquin County." Funding for these conservation easements were made available through the California Strategic Growth Council's (SGC) Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC), administered by the Department of Conservation (DOC).

SALC is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment. The remaining funds were provided through a landowner bargain sale, where the Machados donated the remainder of the appraised fair market value, because of their strong belief in the importance of farmland protection and deep understanding in the long-term impact it will have. "We congratulate the Machado family on the completion of these agricultural conservation easements and the California Farmland Trust for its legacy of farmland preservation," said David Shabazian, DOC director. "The family's agreement to exclude development on these lands helps support our department's objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance environmental and economic outcomes that benefit both rural and urban Californians.

We're proud to support important projects such as these." With the Machado properties, CFT's acres protected in San Joaquin County total to 3,190 acres on 17 farms. The California Farmland Trust is a California nonprofit 501(c)(3).

Its mission is to help farmers protect the best farmland in the world.

To date, CFT has protected 17,353 acres of farmland on 80 farms.

To learn more visit them at: www.cafarmtrust.org.