Christine Rasmussen October 30, 2005

I am looking into ways of maintain dairy farms in New England and one of the points that I want to make with decision makers is that farms are important because they provide fresh locally grown products and jobs, but beyond that they add value to the community. Farms offer open space, scenic landscapes, wild life habitats, potential carbon sequestation, reduce run-offs, provide opportunities for outdoor recreation etc. but farmers are not compensated for these values. I have read the Cost of Community Service studies on the tax benefits of keeping open space, but I am interested in determining if any studies have been done that measure the other values that farmland provides. I would like to develop a credible way to but a value of what the loss of these lands mean to a community. Everything I read indicates that it is impossible to put a value on something that is priceless.

Thank you,
Christine Rasmussen