When MFT protects a farm with an agricultural conservation easement, we make a commitment to the landowner that we will protect the conservation values of the property forever. MFT’s Stewardship Department is responsible for making sure that we uphold the promise we made to you to protect your farmland in perpetuity. MFT works with owners of protected farmland to steward their properties into the future.
The Stewardship team is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the terms of each of MFT’s conservation interests—agricultural conservation easements, deed restrictions, and third party interests. Stewards accomplish these goals through regular monitoring visits to conservation properties, detailed recordkeeping, and fostering strong working relationships with landowners.
MFT’s stewards are often the primary point of contact for all landowners with MFT conservation easements and work closely with landowners to build and maintain strong relationships. Stewards correspond with landowners as necessary throughout the year to provide interpretations of conservation easement language, respond to requests for approval, and work with landowners to exercise reserved rights such as establishing a Building Envelope.
These working relationships often cross-pollinate with other MFT program areas when owners of conservation land become members, utilize MFT business planning services, list a property on FarmLink, encourage neighbors to protect farmland, or participate in MFT events.
Stewards are also responsible for the management of properties that MFT owns outright. The Stewardship Department works with the Farmland Protection Department to evaluate properties prior to purchase, oversee maintenance activities, prepare management plans and budgets, and conduct monitoring visits or other task visits at least annually.
THANK YOU to our Landowners
Thank you for working with us to protect your farmland. MFT believes that the protection of farmland is of utmost importance in ensuring a future for viable farm businesses and food production in Maine. We are grateful to work with so many landowners across the state to protect their land.