Welcome to the Monroe County Farmland Protection Program


In the spring of 2002, the Monroe County Commission authorized a resolution creating the Monroe County Farmland Protection Board. The Commission affirmed that the agriculture community of Monroe County provides sources of agriculture products for the citizens of the state; enhances tourism, protects worthwhile community values, institutions and landscapes which are inseparably associated with traditional farming; and controls the urban expansion which is consuming land, topsoil and woodland of the county. The Board, as appointed by the Commission, was authorized to create and administer the Monroe County Farmland Protection Program in consultation with the Greenbrier Valley Conservation District, and as approved by the Commission.


Monroe County has lost, and continues to lose, farmland. With the loss of farmland, there is an inherent loss in agricultural economy and agrarian culture; both of which have been deeply rooted in the county for over 200 years. Agriculture is a unique life support industry, providing sources of agricultural products for the citizens of the state. Because West Virginia’s farmland is so much less than other states, it is even more important to take steps to protect is, as it is some of the best soil suited to agricultural production in the raising of cattle, sheep, poultry and dairy animals, according to the 1997 Agricultural Census.

In spite of recent losses, agriculture remains strong in Monroe County; and the Monroe County Commission feels that action should be taken to help protect the county’s farm heritage before more substantial losses occur. Among West Virginia’s fifty-five counties, Monroe currently ranks: 4th in number of farms (617); 4th in number of acres in farmland (138,688); 2nd in number of beef cows; 2nd in number of cattle/calves sold per year; 5th in number of milk cows; and 3rd in number of dairy farms. Monroe is moderate in size compared to other WV counties, and if the above figures are adjusted for county area, the ongoing importance of agriculture in Monroe is further emphasized. Again, among West Virginia counties, Monroe ranks: 3rd in number of farms per square mile; 1st in percent farmland out of total county acreage; 1st in beef cows per sq. mile; 1st in cattle/calves sold per sq. mile; 3rd in milk cows per sq. mile; and 2nd in number of dairy farms per sq. mile.

Further, the Homeland Security Act, which the Congress passed as a protection measure following the attack of September 11, 2001, specifies that America’s farms should be protected as a means of making us self-sustaining in the event of attacks which would prevent the importation of foodstuffs from foreign countries. Because of the enormous loss of farmland nationwide during the last 25 years, the United States is no longer self-sustaining according to statistics provided by the American Farmland Trust.