Announcing a New Training Program for Professionals Working with Farmers and Farmland Owners!
The transfer of farms to a new generation is one of the biggest challenges facing agriculture in the Northeast. American Farmland Trust and Land For Good are offering an exciting two-year training program for professionals working with farmers and farmland owners as they seek access to land and navigate the complexity of farm transfers. The Farmland Advisors program will offer participants from New York and New England the opportunity to join a network of agricultural and conservation professionals to learn about:
- Farm transfer and succession planning
- Financial, tax and legal issues in farm transfers
- Land conservation as a farm transfer strategy
- Farm linking and matching
- Farmland leasing and other tenure options
- Farmland restoration
- Farmland affordability options
Scaling Up: Strategies for Expanding Sales of Local Food to Public and Private Institutions in New York
Selling more food grown in New York to schools, hospitals and other institutions is a proverbial ‘win-win’ for farmers and consumers in the state. There are shining examples of successes across New York, however there remain systemic barriers to greater sales that are complex and span multiple partners in the food chain. This is particularly challenging in a large state like New York with more than 19 million residents and a network of world-renowned colleges, universities, hospitals and other institutions that serve tens of millions of people annually.
In an effort to encourage greater communication and coordination among organizations working to increase farm to institution sales in New York, American Farmland Trust launched a Farm to Institution New York State (FINYS) initiative. Scaling Up: Strategies for Expanding Sales of Local Food to Public and Private Institutions in New York represents the work of the FINYS Working Group to identify priority issues and recommendations to help enable increased food production as well as grow demand and purchasing by institutions and all of the links in the supply chain between farm field and institutional plate.
Planning for Agriculture in New York: A Toolkit for Towns and Counties
Agriculture is increasingly recognized as a critical element of New York’s economy and a key producer of fresh, healthy foods and renewable energy. Planning for Agriculture in New York: A Toolkit for Towns and Counties [PDF] highlights 80 towns and counties that have taken proactive actions to keep farming viable in their communities and protect farmland. Topics include agricultural economic development, food and public heath, zoning and land use planning, purchase of development rights, public education and more.
Throughout 2011, we hosted a webinar series to help individuals and communities. You can view the video recordings here:
- Making the Most of Planning for Agriculture [Video Recording], February 16
- Helping a “New Generation” Succeed in Farming [Video Recording], March 16
- Slicing and Dicing Our Way to New Jobs and Economic Opportunities [Video Recording], April 20
- Exploring Alternate Ways to Protect Farmland [Video Recording], May 18
- When Local Food Is Illegal: Keeping Zoning Farm- Friendly [Video Recording], June 15
- Buy Local First: How to Keep Public Food Dollars in Your Community [Video Recording], July 20
Download the Appendix [PDF], featuring links to additional resources featured in the toolkit.
The print version of the Planning for Agriculture guide is also available for purchase.
Sample agriculture and farmland protection plans and other sample documents are also available from the Farmland Information Center.
New York Landowner Guide
American Farmland Trust’s updated 2010 New York Agricultural Landowner Guide [PDF] is an indispensable tool for farmers and rural landowners trying to navigate the sometimes confusing array of public programs available to them. The guide describes over 60 public programs currently available to help farmers reduce property taxes, protect farmland from unplanned development, enhance economic viability, and generate alternative energy.
Farmers are some of our nation’s greatest environmental stewards. This notion is perhaps better exemplified in New York than anywhere else. The overall goal of the Owasco Lake Agricultural Conservation Blueprint [PDF] is to enable farmers in the Owasco Lake watershed to pro-actively protect water quality while strengthening the region’s agricultural economy. This report outlines 19 recommendations that were identified as being important for enhancing water quality and farm viability in the Owasco Lake watershed.
Watch Our Webinars
|Making the Most of Planning for Agriculture
This webinar unveils Planning for Agriculture in New York: A Toolkit for Towns and Counties [PDF]. Topics include: agricultural economic development; food and public heath; zoning and land use planning; purchase of development rights; public education and more.
|Helping a “New Generation” Succeed in Farming
When farmers retire, what happens to a town’s landscape and local businesses? This webinar addresses how towns and counties like yours are attracting new farmers and new families to their communities. This session examined several county programs.
|Slicing and Dicing our way to New Jobs and Economic Opportunities
This webinar examines how two New York counties supported the development of food processing facilities to help farmers expand their businesses and create jobs and opportunities for residents.
|Supporting Agriculture with Zoning
This webinar reviews what constitutes “farm friendly” zoning. Watch the video recording of this webinar to see examples used across New York State and hear ideas of what might work in your region.
|Putting Agriculture Districts and Right-to-Farm Laws to Work
Sign-on to this webinar to develop a better understanding of these planning tools that provide a supportive operating environment for farms. Examples of their use in communities across the state will give context to the use of the tools.
|Celebrating Local Agriculture
In this exciting webinar, we showcase several communities’ experiences and provide you with examples of how to create your own “celebration” of agriculture.
|Getting Ready for the No Farms No Food® Rally
When lobbying at the No Farms No Food® Rally at the Capitol in Albany, we want to make sure you can make the most of the day! This webinar will walk you through the logistics of the rally and include tips from our advocacy toolkit on discussing farmland protection with state legislators.