|Welcome to the February issue of E-news. Click
here to view a version of E-news on the web. Can't wait until
next month's E-news to hear more about farms, food, and the environment?
Check out our Farmland
Report blog where we post regular updates
about our work across the country and in the nation's capital.
Maryland Farmer Looks Toward
family has farmed in Cecil County, Maryland, for more than 100 years.
Having recently opened their own bottling plant and ice cream business, the
dairy must now address additional challenges in running the 590 cow farm.
In 2009, the Kilbys participated in our BMP
Challenge to address production and environmental risks, and they have
continued to seek opportunities to protect the future of their farm. Make your
own commitment to protect the future of our farms and our natural resources by
taking our Clean
Vermont Farm to Plate Initiative Addresses
Farm to Plate initiative—a ten-year strategic plan to strengthen the
state’s food system—the newly released executive summary identifies affordable
access to farmland as a serious barrier for new farmers or those farmers seeking
to grow and expand. Among the plan’s goals: “Agriculture will be advanced as
the highest and best use of prime agricultural land and soils,” and “Productive,
fertile agricultural soil and land will be available and affordable for farming
into the future.” Vermont
Gov. Peter Shumlin recently unveiled a statewide jobs bill that
would address a number of goals included in the plan.
No Farms No Food® Rally & Lobby
Day, March 30th, State Capitol, Albany
folks who feed the hungry in the soup kitchens of Brooklyn, town officials from
upstate, dairy farmers from western New York,
farmers market managers and land trust staff protecting the New York City watershed all get together? At
the No Farms No Food® Rally. American Farmland Trust is bringing
farmers, local food advocates, land trusts, hunger relief workers, local
officials, environmentalists and concerned citizens from Buffalo
to Long Island to the State Capitol in Albany
to tell their legislators that local farms and food are essential to food
security and to a healthy economy for all New Yorkers. Register to join
Good News: Governor Cuomo’s Budget
Stops Erosion of Funds for Agriculture and Environment
Cuomo’s 2011-12 Executive Budget Proposal, released last week, includes good
news for efforts to protect farmland in New
York. Over the past three years, New York’s Environmental
Protection Fund has been nearly cut in half and state funding for the Farmland
Protection Program had been cut by 83 percent. In his first budget
proposal, Governor Cuomo proposed to hold funding for the Environmental
Protection Fund steady at $134 million while allocating $12 million for the
Farmland Protection Program.
Webinar Series on Supporting Local
Agriculture Kicks Off February 16th
New York state has lost almost half a
million acres of agricultural land to development over the last 25 years. That’s
9,000 acres a year—one farm every three and a half days. Fortunately, New
Yorkers are rediscovering something that once was common sense: communities
need local farms.
Our webinar series, based on our
newly released guide Planning for
Agriculture in New York: A Toolkit for Towns and Counties, will help
community leaders, farmers and planners take action to strengthen economic
opportunities for farmers while protecting farmland from being lost to
development. Register now for the first webinar on February 16, Making the Most of
Planning for Agriculture.
Fiscally Sound Conservation for a Brighter Future
economic future for our nation requires a balance between public investment and
public benefit. American Farmland Trust’s president
Jon Scholl reflects on the current fiscal challenges we face as a nation,
which are calling into question public investment in federal programs,
including those that strengthen conservation efforts on farms and ranches. When
it comes to agriculture and an environmentally healthy future, we believe
that environmental improvements can be achieved in a fiscally responsible way.
A Healthy Nation Needs Healthy Farms
intensifying national focus on food and nutrition has set the stage for a
collaborative effort between the agriculture and public health communities in
the debate over the 2012 Farm Bill. The recent release of new USDA dietary
guidelines underscores the need to develop this relationship. To meet the growing
demand for healthy food, our nation needs to protect and conserve our farmland.
As our managing director of federal policy, Dennis Nuxoll, explains, a
partnership with the public health community as we work toward our policy
objectives will help ensure a healthier future for us all.
How Will the Federal Budget Cutting
Season Impact Farms, Food and Farmland?
legislators and President Obama face certain fiscal realities, federal budget
decisions will be made that will affect agriculture programs this year and
through 2012. Cuts made to meet deficit reduction goals could possibly dip into
farm bill programs, threatening initiatives that provide the very basis for
conservation and land protection, help advance rural prosperity, and create greater
access to local and healthy food for consumers. Take our poll and tell us
what you feel should be done with the money available!
| Around the Country
Our New York State
Director, David Haight, spoke with
Heritage Radio's Farm Report co-host Heather Hyman live in their Brooklyn
studio about the upcoming No
Farms No Food® Rally
and why New York
needs to stop losing farmland to development.
Trust board member Craig McNamara has been nominated by the California Governor to serve as the
next president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture.
Iowa’s Local Food & Farm Plan, developed by the Leopold Center of
Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa
proposes to boost local food production and the agricultural economy in the
One of the
oldest family farms in the country now focuses on what its founders did: growing
food that goes straight to consumers in Massachusetts.
Manfredi of the Hawaii Farm Bureau discusses a
renewed agenda of conservation and sustainability for farmers and ranchers
in the island state.
The 2011 Georgia
Ag Forecast predicts that increased interest in local farms and food will
continue to boost agriculture in the state. The report is part of a series
of similar research from the University
of Georgia that culminates
five-city tour this month.
state legislation seeks to encourage smart growth while protecting farmland—all
without requiring new taxes, new government expenditures or new regulations.
Maryland farmers are planting cover crops across nearly 400,000
acres of farm fields this winter, in an effort to soak up nutrients that harm
Bay and keep soil from washing into the water.
farm-to-school pilot project, administered by the Kentucky
Department of Agriculture, will give students the opportunity to observe life
on a working farm while learning about healthy eating and discovering where
their food comes from.
an urban agriculture and education project in Sacramento, California,
recently awarded a grant from the USDA to help their work on the city’s
“nutrition hub,” which is bridging the
gap between farmers and urban consumers.
Steward of the Land winner, Nash
Huber of Washington state,
recently received the Steward of Sustainable Agriculture award from the Ecological
edition of the Wisconsin
Local Food Marketing Guide is now available. The toolkit is a how-to in
getting started in or improving on marketing locally grown food.
guest blog post,
Agricultural Economist Carl Zulauf, architect of the ACRE
program, looks at ways to improve this innovative economic safety net for
farmers in the 2012 Farm Bill.