With 400 million acres of land in the United States expected to change hands over the next two decades, the time for transformation in land ownership is now, says Ian McSweeney. Ian is the director of Agrarian Trust, which supports small farmers and their communities through the creation of Agrarian Commons, a communal land-ownership model with a focus on sustainable agriculture. Here, he and Ashoka’s Lisbet Portman discuss the urgent need for an alternative to industrial farming, the limits of conservation, and what a long-term view of environmental stewardship might look like.
Lisbet Portman: As a young person, how did you think about the land around you?
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