In the last of our series diving into our top 2023 Farm Bill priorities, we…
Looking Ahead to the 2021 Field Season
Lyndsey Marston is the Director of MFT’s Stewardship Program, and monitors MFT’s farm easements in Hancock and Washington counties.
Each spring, stewardship staff gather to make plans for our upcoming field season and put our heads together for how best to do our work thoughtfully and efficiently. This year, we added another Land Steward to our small team, and we also invited our Farm Viability co-workers who work closely with farmers (although in a different way) to discuss how our work overlaps and how we can best support farmers across the state. We gathered at a conserved property in Jefferson, and were treated with seeing a young moose casually saunter through the fields early in the day! Oddly enough, we also got to meet some co-workers in person for the first time after working together virtually for over a year.
Unlike some years past, our field season was already well underway by the time we gathered in mid May. Some years the snowpack lingers and delays our first visits, and last year we had an especially slow start as we waited for guidance on whether it was safe to travel and visit farmers in person. This year, however, we hit the ground running and started our annual monitoring visits in March! Stewards have already completed 58 visits this year; by the same time last year we were just starting to visit farms. While we still have many to go, it’s nice to feel like we have set a good pace for the rest of the year.
Last year was challenging in so many ways, and while we are all still being careful, Stewards are excited to see glimpses of normalcy as summer approaches. With over 250 conservation easements in place and many more planned over the coming months, we have a lot of farms to visit by the end of the year and are looking forward to each and every one. Here’s to a great 2021 field season!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into the world of a land steward. If you want to learn more about the process of protecting farms, check out our Stewardship section. See you out in the field!