The second annual Harvesting Opportunities in New York: Growing Local Food Economies and Protecting Farmland conference was held on November 20 in downtown Albany.
Interest in the growth of local farm and food economies has never been higher yet New York continues to lose thousands of acres of farmland to real estate development each year. Over the last 25 years, nearly half a million acres of farmland, the equivalent of 4,500 farms, has been lost to housing developments, shopping malls and big box stores. In fact, over 80 percent of the fruits, vegetables and dairy products produced in New York are grown near urban areas and lie directly in the path of sprawling development.
But, this situation is changing. People across New York are hard at work supporting local farms and saving local farmland. Townspeople are hammering out zoning regulations that steer development away from the best farmland and don’t inhibit entrepreneurial farmers. More colleges, senior centers and other community institutions are seeking out locally grown food. And, land trusts, private landowners and others are making land available to young farmers, immigrants, veterans and other farmers looking to expand their farm businesses.
Harvesting Opportunities in New York is a conference for people who care about New York agriculture and want to work together to grow local food economies, protect farmland from development and support the next generation of farmers. Conference participants will include: farmers, public officials from all levels of government, land trusts, local foods and public health leaders, hunger relief advocates, institutional food-service managers, agricultural organizations and concerned citizens.
CONFERENCE SCHEDULE – November 20, 2013
Welcome: David Haight, New York State Director, American Farmland Trust (9:00)
Keynote Speaker: Andrew McElwaine, President, American Farmland Trust (9:15)
Conference Track 1: Buy Local
Workshop 1A: Connecting Public Health & Local Food (10:30 to 12:00)
- Workshop 1B: Taking Farm to College to the Next Level (1:30 to 3:00)
- Workshop 1C: Preparing Farmers for Expanding Local Markets (3:15 to 4:45)
Conference Track 2: Save Farms in Your Community
- Workshop 2A: Emerging Models of Farmland Affordability (10:30 to 12:00)
- Workshop 2B: Planning for Local Food Systems (1:30 to 3:00)
- Workshop 2C: Planning for Locally Produced Beer, Wine & Spirits (3:15 to 4:45)
Conference Track 3: Spread the Word
- Workshop 3A: Farmers, Farmland & Food in New York (10:30 to 12:00)
- Workshop 3B: Local, State & Federal Policy Roundtable (1:30 to 3:00)
- Workshop 3C: Engaging the Public in Saving Farmland (3:15 to 4:45)
Conference Track 4: Farmland for the Next Generation of Farmers
- Workshop 4A: Strategies for Farmers to Access Farmland (10:30 to 12:00)
- Workshop 4B: Developing a Strategic Land Access Plan (1:30 to 3:00)
- Workshop 4C: Discussion of Land Access Plans with Experts from the Field (3:15 to 4:45)
Download the Conference Brochure (pdf)
To read a brief description about each workshop and the list of moderators and presenters: Download the Conference Program (pdf)
Download the Panelist Bios & Contact info (pdf)
The day-long conference was held on Wednesday, November 20 at the Hilton Albany, located at 40 Lodge St. in downtown Albany. The 2013 conference featured 12 concurrent workshops as well as a morning and lunchtime program. A Cider Doughnut Continental Breakfast with Chobani© yogurt jump-started the day and Thanksgiving—Locally Grown lunch was served!
What does the new Farm Brewery Law mean for New York farmers and brewers? HRN’s Leah Eden spoke with Sam Filler of Empire State Development to talk Farm Brewery Law specifics. How does the license allow for company expansion? Will the law spur on a new era of hop growing in New York state? Tune in to find out!
American Farmland Trust greatly appreciates the significant financial support for The Harvesting Opportunities in New York: Growing Local Food Economies and Protecting Farmland conference provided by:
The Environmental Protection Fund and the New York State Conservation Partnership Program in collaboration with the Land Trust Alliance and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
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Special Program Funding For The “Farmland for the Next Generation of Farmers” Track Of Workshops Is Provided By:
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Special Program Funding For The “Buy Local” Track Of Workshops Is Provided By:
•The Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation
•The New World Foundation’s Local Economies Project
Thank You to all of our Sponsors!
More information on Harvesting Opportunities in New York: Growing Local Food Economies & Protecting Farmland will be coming soon. In the meantime please “like” our facebook page and follow us on twitter at @FarmlandNY #HarvestingOpportunityNY to keep up with the latest information or if you have any questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (518) 581-0078.
Remember—No Farms No Food©!
Click here to check out information and pics from last years conference!