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In Multnomah County, USDA data shows a 75% increase in the value of farmland and buildings from 2012-2107

COURTESY PHOTO: EAST MULTNOMAH SOIL AND WATER - This 57-acre parcel of land near Oxbow Park was bought and protected from development. It is now a part of Sester Farms. A new deal has ensured 57 acres of working farmland near Gresham will remain dedicated to producing agricultural products during a time in which the region is losing countless acres.

East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District and Sester Farms closed the deal in April 2019 for the commercial nursery to take over the parcel of land and add it to its existing farm, which was first planted in 1898.

"Every time farmland is lost to other uses, we lose open space, local jobs, wildlife habitat, local food stability, and much more," said Allison Hensey, board chair for East Multnomah Soil and Water. "In the Portland Metro area, the recent rate of farmland lost is alarming."

Estimates show that from 2012 to 2017, Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties saw farmland taken out of production at a rate of one acre every hour, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Those properties are often converted to residential use.

Click here to read the rest of the story in the Gresham Outlook.


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