Seven working farms in the Hudson Valley are now protected from development thanks to combined support from the federal Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program, Scenic Hudson, Dutchess County, the Town of Red Hook, the Columbia Land Conservancy and the Dutchess Land Conservancy. 1,265 acres of farmland have been protected with conservation easements at a cost $5 million. The farms produce fruits, vegetables, milk, hay and grains. “Ensuring that our farmers have access to the land they need to grow their products is vitally important to economic development and food security in New York,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
The Hudson Valley Food Hubs Initiative: Research Findings and Recommendations has just been released. The report explores escalating distribution of local foods, supporting farm economies and strengthening Hudson Valley regional food systems and communities through food hubs. The report is spearheaded by the Local Economies Project with a research team led by Sarah Brannen and Columbia University’s Urban Design Lab. “Expanding local food distribution capacity is critical to farm products into institutions and expanding sales for farmers”, said David Haight, New York State Director for American Farmland Trust. “This report provides important insights into changes needed in the Hudson Valley.”
Ever hear the saying–“Our kids don’t know where their food comes from, they think it comes from the grocery store?” Today, though more people shop at farmers markets, they still don’t know where their food comes from – local farmland. And, we are losing farmland fast! In New York we have lost 4,500 farms, since the 1980s. We recently produced a set of online videos and infographics about the importance of saving farmland from development. Help save farmland in New York State. Check out these videos and infographics. Share them online with your friends. Remember–No Farms No Food!
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the 2013-14 State Budget yesterday at the University at Buffalo. The budget passed both houses of the New York State Legislature on March 29.
The budget provides $13 million, an increase of $1 million, for the state’s Farmland Protection Program, which funds the purchase of agricultural conservation easements on farmland and the development of municipal and county agriculture and farmland protection plans. The Farmland Protection Program is part of the Environmental Protection Fund, which received $153 million, an increase of $19 million.
New York’s 30,000 farms sell almost $5 billion in farm products annually and are the critical link in a chain of food processors and agriculturally related businesses that annually generate $46.7 billion in economic impact. “Farmland forms the foundation of New York’s farm and food economy yet over the last 25 years the state has lost half a million acres of farmland to real estate development,” said David Haight, New York State Director for American Farmland Trust. The Environmental Protection Fund is currently the sole source of funding for the state’s Farmland Protection Program, which provides funding to protect farms from poorly planned development. The Farmland Protection Program also enables farmers to invest funds they receive in exchange for placing a conservation easement on their farm in diversifying and expanding their farm businesses. Many of these farmers build new infrastructure, introduce new crops, purchase equipment or livestock, and perhaps most importantly, transfer family farms to the next generation of farmers.” Read More
Posted in Agriculture and Environment, Farmland Protection, Local Farms and Food, New York Policy, State Budget, State Legislation Tagged agriculture, Albany, American Farmland Trust, budget, Environmental Protection Fund, farmland protection, farmland protection program, Governor Cuomo, new york budget, state budget
The No Farms No Food Rally took place during heated budget negotiations between Governor Cuomo and the Legislature. Sixteen lobby teams met with over seventy state legislators. “We were joined by young farmers, mature farmers, land trusts and conservation organizations, hunger relief and public health advocates and local food groups to tell our elected officials that protecting farmland and growing food in New York State matters,” said David Haight, New York state director for American Farmland.
Posted in Agriculture and Environment, Farmland Protection, Local Farms and Food, New York Policy, State Budget Tagged agriculture, Albany, American Farmland Trust, budget, farmland, farmland protection, farmland protection program, Governor Cuomo, New York, No Farms No Food