Document Type


Journal/Book Title

PATS Special Report No. 1

Publication Date



I’d like to use my opening comments today to set the stage for the rest of the program. But first, a few words about my background. I’m a sociologist and an economist trained in the dynamics of change in the farm sector. I help direct a research and outreach unit called the Program on Agricultural Technology Studies that tracks the impacts of new technologies and public policies on farm families, and only came to the world of land use planning through the back door. Specifically, as we’ve worked with farmers across the state in the last five to seven years, land use issues began to come up as an increasingly important part of farmers’ lives, both in a positive way and a negative way. As a result, we began to direct some of our program resources to examining that issue. In the last year and a half, I have assumed additional responsibilities as a co-leader of a workteam within UW-Extension that is developing educational programs for local decision-makers concerning agricultural trends and agricultural land use. I’ll call your attention to a display in the back of the room that illustrates some Townlevel land use trend data that our team helped collect in the last few years. A number of you may have received copies of our Town Land Use Databooks in recent months. I know we sent them out to a lot of agencies and local government officials. In my comments I will be using some maps and images that are based on those data. Finally, I am a member of the faculty in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and have become much more familiar with the formal world of planning and zoning through my colleagues there.