Planning for agriculture and food systems
Whether community, state or regional — planning is not complete without a plan for food and agriculture. We're working across the country to help create the vision, road map and policies needed so local agriculture can grow to meet increasing public demands for local food, energy and ecosystem services. Elements include: keeping land available for farming, supporting conservation practices, encouraging the next generation of farmers and investing in economic development to sustain local farms and promote universal food security.
Local and Regional Food Systems
We are working to educate and engage planners, food policy council members, leaders in sustainable agriculture and other advocates of food system change. Our webinar series, Planning for Food and Agriculture: Taking a Systems Approach, seeks to provide an opportunity for individuals working in local and regional food systems to learn from successful examples.
We're partnering with the California Board of Food and Agriculture in facilitating the process to build a strategic plan for the future of agriculture in the nation’s leading farm state. California’s Ag Vision engages leaders and experts in agriculture and related fields to address economic, food safety, environmental and other pressing issues confronting growers and the agricultural sector.
North East, New York
The dairy farm community in North East, New York, found new ways to keep farms profitable by expanding into direct retail markets with products such as goat cheese, lamb, specialty lettuce and tomatoes. To make sure these and other farms in North East continue to thrive, our New York office is working with the town to address issues of zoning codes for business expansions, financing farmland protection projects, and promoting local agriculture.
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Agriculture is the backbone of the local economy in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Working with Wallace, Roberts & Todd (WRT) Design we helped update the Growth Management element of the county’s Comprehensive Plan. The plan’s strategies focused on the viability of the agricultural industry and the creation of a Smart Growth Toolbox. The plan update, Envision Lancaster County, won a 2006 Outstanding Planning Award from the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Planning Association and a 2009 National Smart Growth Achievement award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. AFT also worked with and incorporated recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission on Agriculture: Keep Lancaster County Farming for Generations to Come.
Guiding Communities Through the Process
Planning for agriculture is an important process to ensure the future of local farms, farmland and food. AFT’s Planning for Agriculture guides are based on our experience helping dozens of towns and counties across the country create plans and programs that support agriculture.
Read more about AFT’s work across the country in: