New Campaigns Kick-off: Messages from the Growing Local and Agriculture & Environment Campaigns

American Farmland Trust
American Farmland Trust

E-News November 13, 2008

Welcome to this special November edition of American Farmland Trust's monthly E-news. Join us as we unveil our new strategy for working with farmers and communities for a cleaner environment, strong farm-to-community connections and protected farmland. Watch the videos featuring our Growing Local and Agriculture & Environment campaign directors explaining their visions and plans. Help usher in the next administration by voting for your farm and food policy priorities.

Growing Local Campaign: Building Stronger Communities from Farm to Fork

There can be no local food without the local farms that provide it. This message is at the heart of our new Growing Local Campaign aimed at stemming the loss of farmland in America by developing strong community connections to the farmland. Watch Campaign Director Julia Freedgood as she describes our plan for Growing Local agriculture that ensures we always have access to fresh, locally grown food.

Agriculture & Environment Campaign: Addressing Climate
Change, Protecting Water Quality

Agriculture represents one of the most cost-effective ways to address two of our most pressing environmental challenges: water quality and climate change. We believe that there is enormous opportunity for farmers and ranchers to play a major role in improving our environment while also expanding their sources of revenue. Watch the video to hear how Jimmy Daukas, our Managing Director of the new Agriculture & Environment Campaign, plans to engage agriculture in adopting conservation practices that benefit the environment.

Lancaster County, "World Champs" at Protecting Farmland?

On a crisp fall morning in the heart of Lancaster County, PA, American Farmland Trust’s president, Jon Scholl, noted that Lancaster County had achieved a world record—protecting 1,000 farms and nearly 80,000 acres in less time than it took the Philadelphia Phillies to win two World Series. Addressing a crowd of farmers, community leaders, dignitaries and a handful of children to congratulate the Robert Meck family on their decision to protect their 65-acre farm and produce operation, Scholl said, "You are not only showing yourselves to be good stewards of this land, nor simply the land’s value to this community. Your actions are significant for the nation and the world." 

The Wait Is Over for FY 08 Federal Farm and Ranch Land Program Funds

These matching funds provide much-needed support for state and local governments and land trusts to purchase permanent farm and ranch land conservation easements. The recently announced funding allocations are the highest since 2005: good news for many communities across the United States. Find out where the money will be working to support farmland protection.


Vote for the Future of America's Farms and Food

Last week, thousands of our supporters voted for their farm, food, and farmland priorities in the President-elect Barack Obama and Vice-President elect Joe Biden administration. Food and farm issues need to be top-of-mind for the next president and his cabinet. Come January, we will present our recommendations to the new administration. Please take this opportunity, if you haven't already voted, to send the message that you care about America's future. If you have already weighed-in on this important matter, then take this opportunity to tell a friend!

Around the Country

In Tennessee, HB 2228 passed, allowing conservation fund expenditures for farm management practices that protect soil, water, air, plants and animals. 

San Francisco, California Mayor Gavin Newsom convened the first meeting of an Urban-Rural Roundtable charged with designing a plan to help expand markets for locally grown food.

Massachusetts closed out its legislative season with big wins for farms and farmland.

The Clean Ohio Bond Fund renewal boosts Ohio farmland preservation.

It is open season for farmers and ranchers in the Upper Midwest who want to apply for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grants.

100-year-old farms in Indiana received the 2008 Hoosiers Homestead Award in honor of the farm’s contributions to the state’s agricultural heritage.

New report in Washington state explores the challenges related to agriculture and the environment and presents three opportunities for tackling environmental issues and improving economic outcomes for agriculture.

Register today for the 2009 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico next January.  Attend our sessions "No Farms No Food" and "From Farm to Sea: Agriculture Working for Cleaner Water."

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