Foodlink, an emergency food provider in Rochester, New York, aims to build a hunger-free community fed by a sustainable regional food system. The Farm to Institution New York State Leadership Team, a partnership supported by American Farmland Trust, met at Foodlink headquarters last week to strategize about ways to increase the amount of food grown in New York that is served by emergency food providers, colleges, hospitals, schools and other institutions. During the Buy Local track of the upcoming Harvesting Opportunities in New York conference, panelists will share innovative strategies for providing local, healthy foods to all New Yorkers – including citizens at most risk of hunger and malnutrition. Speakers in these workshops will highlight ways that farmers markets programs such as FreshConnect, emergency food providers and other food outlets can improve the health of New Yorkers while expanding sales for farmers and food businesses.
Farm Aid 2013 is coming to Saratoga Springs, the hometown of our New York field office, on September 21, look for American Farmland Trust in the HOMEGROWN Village with their No Farms No Food: The Apple as Planet Earth demonstration and see a single apple reveal how finite our farmland and topsoil are—and how seriously they are threatened by real estate development and erosion. “Looking at the earth as an apple really makes you understand why we must protect the soil that produces our food,” said American Farmland Trust intern Skidmore student Rachel Bowen, who will be working at the HOMEGROWN Village.
Thanks to generous support from our conference sponsors, discounted registration for the Harvesting Opportunities in New York: Growing Local Food Economies & Protecting Farmland is now available to a limited number of beginning farmers and students. The conference, to be held on November 20 in downtown Albany, will offer workshops on topics such as land access for beginning farmers and serving food from New York farms on college campuses. “This conference is for people interested in growing local food economies, protecting farmland from development and supporting the next generation of farmers,” said Laura Ten Eyck, Senior Manager of New York Projects and Outreach for American Farmland Trust. For more about the beginning farmer/student discount email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Gary and Karen Gulliver, of Gulliver Farms, it is all about the land. Their family has been farming in Cayuga County in New York’s Finger Lakes Region, since the 1950s. Thanks to funding from the state’s Farmland Protection Program, which enabled local partners to purchase a conservation easement on over 1,000 acres of the Gullivers’ farmland, the land will continue to be farmed for generations to come.
“This land here in Cayuga County is some of the best farmland in the country,” explained Karen Gulliver. “We wanted to make sure it didn’t get whittled away. We wanted to do what we could to protect it.”
New York’s 7 million acres of farmland support 30,000 farms which generate over $5 billion in economic activity annually and serve as the cornerstone of the state’s $46.7 billion farm and food economy. Governor Cuomo, recognizing the opportunity for growth, has launched agricultural economic development initiatives in Greek yogurt and on-farm wine, beer and spirit production as well as programs promoting New York produced foods, such as Fresh Connect and Taste NY.
Online registration is now open for the Harvesting Opportunities in New York: Growing Local Food Economies and Protecting Farmland conference that will be held on November 20 in downtown Albany! “This is a great opportunity to talk about strengthening connections between farmers and local consumers and protecting the land that is critical to farming,” says David Haight, New York State Director for American Farmland Trust.
Join farmers, elected officials, conservation and public health leaders and concerned citizens for workshops that will address topics such as:
- Real World Success in Connecting Local Food and Public Health
- Emerging Models of Farmland Affordability
- Preparing Farmers for Expanding Local Markets
- Planning for Local Agriculture and Food Systems
- Engaging the Public in Saving Farmland
- Strategies for Beginning Farmers to Access Farmland
- Funding for Protecting Farmland