Want local food? We’ve got to have local farmland.
Our food comes from farmland, and we are losing farmland fast. New York state has lost more than half a million acres of farmland since the 1980s, the equivalent of nearly 5,000 farms.
More than 80 percent of the fruits, vegetables, and dairy products produced in New York are grown on farmland directly in the path of suburban sprawl.
We have to stop losing farmland now. We can’t let concrete be the last crop.
AFT leads the Alliance for New York’s Farmland – a coalition speaking out for public funding and policies to protect farmland and bring a new generation of farmers onto the land.
Planning for Agriculture
New York is a “home rule” state where locally elected municipal boards have primary responsibility for developing land use policies. Too often, communities have treated farmland as vacant land available for development.
AFT is a trusted resource for planning for agriculture in New York. We’ve trained thousands of public officials, farmers, and others on strategies for how towns and counties can protect farmland and support the viability of farming.
AFT helps communities understand that agricultural land is the foundation of local farm and food economies. We provide towns with strategies for steering development away from irreplaceable farmland while considering the needs of local farmers and farm businesses during the land use planning process.