AFT’s Role in New York

Much of New York’s landscape is in farming – from Long Island vegetable fields and Hudson Valley apple orchards to Finger Lakes vineyards and Western New York dairy farms. But New York is also home to some of the most threatened farmland in America. The equivalent of 5,000 farms have been lost to real estate development since the 1980s.

Since 1990, American Farmland Trust has worked tirelessly in New York to stop the loss of farms and farmland. Collaborating with partners, we’ve cut the annual loss of New York farmland in half.

We permanently protected some of the first farms in New York – to demonstrate how it could be done.

Then we worked with farmers and public officials to create – and fight for – local and state farmland protection programs that have since protected more than 100,000 acres of farmland.

It’s not enough to protect the land if local policies push development onto farmland and make it hard for farmers to stay in business. So, we’ve trained more than 2,500 local officials on strategies to “plan for agriculture” and keep farmers in their communities.

On the environmental front, we’ve pioneered programs that help farmers protect drinking water for millions of New Yorkers while staying economically viable.

And we’re working on exciting new initiatives that bring local foods into institutions, like colleges and schools, and that connect retiring farmers and non-farming landowners with new farm families.