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Next Generation of Farmers

Young female beginning farmerTo address land access and farm transition in the Northeast, American Farmland Trust launched a “next generation” initiative with several components: a professional development program to train agricultural professionals in the Northeast about farm transfer and farmland access options; a research project focused on barriers facing beginning farmers; and a network of organizations working to link farm seekers with farmland owners in the Hudson Valley.

Training Program for Professionals Working with Farmers and Farmland Owners

Reducing the loss of farmland to development and keeping farmers on the land—two key objectives of American Farmland Trust—are front and center in the new Farmland Advisors program developed by the New York State and New England offices of American Farmland Trust. Farmland is often vulnerable to development when it transfers from one owner to the next, and with nearly 25 percent of the farmland in the seven-state region owned by farmers aged 65 and older, millions of acres and thousands of farms are likely to change hands in the next two decades. For new and established farmers alike, access to affordable farmland is also a key barrier to entry and business expansion, so helping farmers find the land they need will be critical to growing a new generation of farmers and keeping current farms profitable.

Learn more about the Farmland Advisors program.

Filling Critical Gaps to Help the Next Generation on the Land

Two Generations of New England dairy farmers

American Farmland Trust is conducting a national survey on policy innovations and overcoming barriers to entering agriculture, which will culminate in a summary report and expand technical assistance through AFT’s Farmland Information Center.

In New York, American Farmland Trust is exploring the establishment of a Greater Hudson Valley Farmlink Network to connect people seeking to farm with available landowners.  This network would consist of a web based linking program with supporting match facilitators at local land trusts and other organizations to connect farm seekers with farmland owners.

Planning for Agriculture in New York: Helping a “New Generation” Succeed in Farming

When farmers retire, what happens to a town’s landscape and local businesses?  The webinar, Helping a “New Generation” Succeed in Farming, addresses how towns and counties in New York  are attracting new farmers and new families to their communities. This session examined several county programs.

Watch the webinar, part of American Farmland Trust’s series on Planning for Agriculture in New York.

 

 

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