Keep Farming is sponsored by the Town of Chatham's Comprehensive Planning Committee. Chatham residents have expressed their strong support for maintaining the town's rural, agricultural character. Keep Farming assessment teams have worked to gather data that helps us understand the impact of farming on our community. This information was presented at the November 2004 Community Agriculture Forum. To access each team's assessment report, click on the corresponding team title.
The Local Foods Assessment helps the community identify its local food distribution network – farmers/producers, markets, distributors and consumers, and understand what food is produced locally, how much is being purchased locally and the potential for improving the connection between farmers and community residents.
The Aesthetics Assessment helps residents “experience” their surroundings in a new way and encourages them to understand and appreciate the sights, smells, and sounds that farmland contributes to their community. It helps us understand and document the landscape, including changes that have taken place.
The Natural Resource Assessment helps the community understand agriculture’s impact on the environment by exploring issues related to water, species, and habitat. It will also help educate about environmental processes that occur on farmland and how the community as a whole benefits from the clean air, water, and biodiversity that farmland provides.
The Economic Assessment helps residents find and interpret information that puts farming’s economic contributions into perspective. It may also help to identify opportunities for new business ventures.