AFT’s Statement on Support of Farmers in New York State of the State Address
This statement can be attributed to Erica Goodman, American Farmland Trust’s New York regional director
American Farmland Trust applauds Governor Hochul’s commitment in the 2022 state of the state to supporting the breadth of farmers in our state and strengthening the resiliency of our regional food supply chain, which must address the racial and economic inequities facing New York farmers. AFT is encouraged by efforts to minimize barriers of entry to institutional procurement through existing beneficial state programs, including Farm to School and NYS Grown & Certified, in particular for BIPOC farmers, and helping more farmers across the state adopt conservation practices. AFT also applauds the Governor’s reinforced commitment to increasing the Environmental Bond Act by $1 billion, and hopes to see a strong commitment made within it to permanently protecting farmland and supporting soil health.
If enacted, these actions and investments will help farmers access more local market opportunities, increase diversity and equity in farming, build on-farm resilience to the impacts of extreme weather while supporting farmers in playing a key role to mitigate climate change, and offer a pathway to protect more of New York’s valuable farmland resources. Access to land, farm viability, and key infrastructure are critical to strengthening our resilient food supply chain.
AFT looks forward to seeing further details in the executive budget proposal and working with the Governor and the legislature this year to support investments and actions that will strengthen farm to school and get more local food to those that need it, bring a diverse new generation of farmers onto the land, and help more farmers permanently protect their land and adopt climate smart practices.