A new partnership aims to preserve four farms in Rocky Ford, totaling more than 660 acres.
New conservation easements between farmers Bart and David Mendenhall and the Palmer Land Trust will help ensure the water from their farms can never be sold off.
Rebecca Jewett directs the Palmer Land Trust. She says elsewhere they might be more known for protecting ranchland.
"But," she says, "we recognize that in the lower Arkansas Valley, and specifically Pueblo, Otero, and Crowley counties, that that water is just as important as protecting the land. And if you're protecting water there, it's protecting farmland."
Jewett says protecting farms is important due to their social and economic impact on local communities.
This easement is part of the Western Lower Arkansas Valley Conservation Plan, which aims to protect farms and water throughout the region.
The Palmer Land Trust is a KRCC underwriter.
Southern Colorado is changing a lot these days. We can help you keep up. Sign up for the KRCC Weekly Digest here and get the stories that matter to Southern Colorado, delivered straight to your inbox.