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Growing the Movement to Protect Farmland and Keep Farmers on the Land in New York

State leaders pose with wooden cow and No Farms No Food banner at New York State Capitol.
Commissioner Richard Ball, NYS Department of Ag and Markets, Assemblymember Donna Lupardo, and Senator Jen Metzger spoke at the Alliance for New York’s Farmland’s breakfast with American Farmland Trust, farmers, agricultural professionals and state leaders.

Earlier this month, American Farmland Trust and the Alliance for New York’s Farmland gathered in the State Capitol with farmers, agricultural service providers, and state leaders to celebrate the milestones New York has achieved in protecting farmland and bringing a new generation of farmers onto the land. Through the New York Farmland Protection program, the state has protected 75,000 acres of farmland, and through Farmland for a New Generation New York, we have helped 38 farmers find land to farm in just one year. These are great achievements for our state and for our farmers, but we aren’t done yet.

In fact, we’re just getting started. American Farmland Trust, in partnership with the state of New York, is pleased to announce the selection of 27 organizations across New York who will serve as Regional Navigators for the Farmland for a New Generation New York program in 2020 and will collectively receive $170,000 in grant awards to support their work with farmers and farmland owners.

Land trust staff and farmer pose with No Farms No Food bumper sticker in New York State Capitol.
Regional Navigator, Janet Britt of Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA), at the New York State Capitol with farmer Dustin Gibson. The Gibson family worked with ASA to permanently protect their 420-acre farm.

Farmland for a New Generation New York: An Overview

A two-prong approach, Regional Navigators work in tandem with the Resource Center (www.NYFarmlandFinder.org) to complete the Farmland for a New Generation New York program and help farmers access land while supporting landowners and retiring farmers in successfully keeping their land in farming by transferring it to a new generation.

American Farmland Trust staff serve as the first point of contact for each farm seeker and farmland owner who uses the Resource Center to connect with each other. There are currently 263 farm seekers and 195 farm properties listed on the website. Each website user receives customized support, one-on-one guidance on how to find farmland or a farmer and is connected to the most relevant Regional Navigators. In addition, the Resource Center website lists events related to farmland access and transfer and a variety of useful resources for those looking to access or transfer farmland.

Regional Navigators dedicate staff time and share specialized expertise to assist farmers and landowners in their region. They serve as advisors, applying knowledge of regional conditions and resources to offer support, including one-on-one assistance, workshops, and other opportunities tailored to address local needs to help farmers find land and aid landowners or current farmers in finding someone to continue farming on their land.

In addition to the 20 organizations that were Regional Navigators in 2019, we welcome seven organizations to the program that will expand this work throughout New York state: Center for Agricultural Development and Education, Cornell Cooperative Extension Herkimer County, Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County, Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties, Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust, Saratoga PLAN, and Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust.

Working together, we can help ensure a bright future for farming in New York for many years to come.

Farmland for a New Generation New York Regional Navigators

  • Agricultural Stewardship Association
  • Center for Agricultural Development & Education (CADE)
  • Columbia Land Conservancy
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Broome County
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Capital Area Agriculture and Horticulture Program
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Cattaraugus County
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Essex County
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Herkimer County
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Madison County
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County
  • Genesee Land Trust
  • Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming
  • Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming
  • GrowNYC
  • National Young Farmers Coalition
  • New York Agricultural Land Trust
  • Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust
  • Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law
  • Peconic Land Trust
  • Saratoga PLAN
  • Seneca Trail Resource Conservation and Development Council
  • Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust

More information about Regional Navigators can be found at nyfarmlandfinder.org/regional-navigators. Farmland for a New Generation is coordinated by American Farmland Trust in partnership with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, with funding from the state of New York and members of AFT.

About the Author
Molly Johnston-Heck

Regional Farmland for a New Generation Manager

mjohnston-heck@farmland.org

(518) 581-0078 x 309

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