Improving market opportunities and infrastructure
We're identifying the opportunities and barriers through demonstration projects to expand infrastructure and market opportunities to improve farm viability through local and regional food systems.
Sustaining Agriculture in Urbanizing Counties
Led by Dick Esseks at the University of Nebraska, we conducted a study that identified what it takes to create viable agriculture in areas facing substantial development pressures.
The report features detailed county case studies that include chapters
on farmland protection, marketing, production inputs and the outlook
for the future.
Farms for the Future
In 2008 we released Farms for the Future: Massachusetts’ Investments in Farmland Conservation. The
report includes a review of state programs that are saving farmland,
protecting the environment and helping improve farm viability. It
recommends a number of actions to improve and complement these
programs. The report provided the basis for a Statewide Farmland
Protection Forum where over 60 farmers, legislators, representatives
from farm and conservation organizations and state agency officials
discussed new land protection and conservation finance tools.
Harvesting Opportunities in New York: Growing Local Food Economies and Protecting Farmland
Farms contribute billions to New York’s economy, yet, since the 1980s,
the state has lost more than 4,000 farms to development. Harvesting Opportunities in New York: Growing Local Food Economies and Protecting Farmland is a conference designed to inspire and educate New Yorkers to support
agriculture, strengthen local farm and food economies, and get
involved in protecting farmland. The one-day conference will take place
on November 15 at the Hotel Albany in downtown Albany, New York.
Regional Project Seeks to Foster Supportive Public Policy Environment
vibrant and viable food system in New England requires a supportive public
policy environment. For this reason,
American Farmland Trust is teaming up with the Conservation Law Foundation and
the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group to identify the policy
levers that will support improved farm profitability, expanded food production
and the agricultural infrastructure needed to improve regional food
resiliency. Drawing upon expertise and
experience of leaders and practitioners across New England, this two-year project will focus on federal, state and regional policy arenas, analyzing policy
barriers and gaps in five key areas and recommending where change is most
needed, at what level and scale, and what kinds of advocacy might be most
Food Policy Council, Massachusetts
We continue to work with a group of food, farm and conservation stakeholders to create a Massachusetts Food Policy Council. The council would work to advance several food system goals including increased production, sales and consumption of
Massachusetts-grown foods and to train, retain and recruit farmers and
provide for the continued economic viability of local food production,
processing and distribution.
A Fresh Outlook at the Urban-Rural Interface in New Jersey
Burlington County, New Jersey, has one of the state’s strongest agricultural economies, along with a nationally recognized farmland preservation program. Our team of experts is helping the county’s farmland preservation program turn the challenges of high land values and conflicts at the urban-rural interface into opportunities for direct marketing, value-added products and a vibrant local food and farming system.
Urban Rural Roundtable
In San Francisco, a blue ribbon committee of city and agricultural leaders convened by Mayor Gavin Newsom outlined five important steps the mayor should take to encourage greater production and consumption of sustainably grown local food. The five initiatives were selected from dozens proposed and debated during a year-long process organized by Roots of Change, American Farmland Trust and other local leaders.
Giving Local Officials a Hand
Our regional staff in Connecticut is providing technical assistance to six communities to help them create plans to support local farms and farmland. As part of this effort, we are helping them implement strategies discussed in the new Planning for Agriculture: A Guide for Connecticut Municipalities. Also see:
- Farmland Information Center: Connecticut
- Our Publications