Agricultural Program

Lincoln’s famed “rural character” is the result of conscious efforts among residents and conservation groups to protect large, contiguous farms and to maintain their historic agricultural use.
 
The Conservation Commission is responsible for overseeing the farmland preservation and licensing program on Town-owned conservation land. In addition, they work closely with the Agricultural Commission to preserve and promote new, agricultural ventures in Lincoln.

The Conservation Commission has developed a Farm Stewardship Policy to encourage good agricultural practices among our licensed farmers. This policy may change over time in response to advances in sustainable farming practices.

Monitoring Existing Farm Licenses

Conservation staff, under the direction of the Conservation Commission, oversee the monitoring program for farm licenses, which includes a yearly visit to each farm, a process for reviewing the required farm reports and discussions with farmers to help support them in good stewardship of the land.

Developing New Farm Policies & Practices

While many of our licensed agricultural operations use ecologically-responsible farming practices, some rely more heavily on chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. As stewards of the Town's farmland, the Conservation Commission frequently reviews and revises its farm policies to promote best management practices including:
  • promotion of organic practices,
  • reduction & elimination of chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides,
  • protection against soil loss and preservation of nutrients, and
  • erosion control by less frequent tilling and use of cover crops.

Expanding Agriculture Opportunities

The Conservation Commission reviews and recommends proposals from organizations and individuals who are interested in starting a farm operation in Lincoln. In particular, it promotes food-producing enterprises and community-supported agriculture.

Saving Agricultural Sites from Future Development

As development pressures rise and prime agricultural lands diminish, Lincoln’s remaining private farmland becomes of conservation interest. Lincoln needs to be financially prepared to quickly respond to acquisition opportunities. Acquiring these lands and keeping them in productive, agricultural use ensures that Lincoln’s agricultural heritage is preserved. Small homes near leased agricultural fields are also of interest as affordable housing for farmers.
 View the Conservation Department page.