Linda Garrett Joins American Farmland Trust as New York Regional Director
Saratoga Springs, NY— Linda Garrett joins American Farmland Trust (AFT) today as the New York Regional Director to lead robust programs to protect farmland, keep farmers on the land and promote sound farming practices in New York and New Jersey.
“Linda Garrett joins AFT at a critical moment for farmers and eaters, and for the future of our planet,” said David Haight, Vice President of Programs for American Farmland Trust. “In searching for our New York Regional Director, we were looking for a leader that could unify diverse interests around shared priorities. And, we found such a changemaker in Linda. She brings incredible passion for farmers, rural communities and conservation. Her legacy in New York’s Tug Hill region reflects an incredible track record of success and readiness for elevating AFT’s impact in New York and New Jersey.”
Garrett is a founder of the Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust where she has served as Executive Director for the last 20 years. She helped the organization grow from one part-time employee to seven and lead it to a nationally accredited land trust that has permanently protected more than 21,000 acres. One of Garrett’s signature accomplishments was a partnership fostered between Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust, U.S. Army, State of New York, more than 25 farm families and other conservation partners to protect farms and minimize urban encroachment around Fort Drum, a major military installation and employer in the Tug Hill region. The partnership aims to sustain a viable training environment for the U.S. Army while permanently protecting over 8,000 acres of land for farming.
“I am very excited to join the dedicated, passionate and growing team at AFT’s NY Regional Program,” said Garrett. “This is a pivotal time for AFT, and I am looking forward to bringing my years of conservation experience working with farmers, conservation organizations, and state and federal agencies to help shape the direction of the New York and New Jersey program. With all that is happening in the world with climate change and other challenges facing our society, it is more important than ever to secure our farmland and support our local farmers.”
American Farmland Trust’s New York Farmland Regional Program has doubled in size in the last five years, underscoring the critical need to sustain the land that sustains us in New York. AFT’s diverse programs in New York and New Jersey help lead efforts to protect farmland with state funded programs, support a diverse new generation of farmers with the nation’s leading farmland matching program, empower schools and institutions to purchase more New York grown food, and promote and expand on-farm efforts to improve soil health, protect water quality and combat climate change.
“Upheaval in the past decades, and especially the last two years, has completely upset the apple cart of New York agriculture as we knew it,” said Kathy Chow, AFT’s New York Council Co-Chair and President’s Council member. “We have reached a tipping point in climate awareness and willingness to act. Our New York farmland, farmers, and eaters are poised to respond to new threats – and with AFT’s strong leadership – we can flip challenges to opportunities. I greatly look forward to working with Linda Garrett on this reset.”
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.