Farmland Loss and Concern in the Treasure Valley

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Structural changes in the agriculture and food system have resulted in larger but fewer farms, while increasing populations in urban areas have pushed development into rural areas. Despite these changes, little research has examined the concern of individuals with regards to loss of farmland and how this may vary based on geography. Building on Bell’s argument that the rural–urban continuum still exists and remains an important part of rural residents’ identity, in this article we examine residents’ concern over loss of farmland as a result of urban growth. We pay particularly close attention to urban–rural differences over concern with loss of farmland. Utilizing survey data collected from over 400 households in the Treasure Valley, a region of the western United States, our results indicate that rural residents show greater levels of concern with farmland loss when compared to their urban counterparts.