ALBANY — American Farmland Trust, in partnership with the State of New York, announces selection of 20 organizations across New York state who will now serve as Regional Navigators to support Farmland for New Generation New York. Regional Navigators will collectively receive $170,000 in grant awards to support their work in helping new farmers find land and assisting landowners and retiring farmers who wish to keep their land in farming.
Regional Navigators for Farmland for a New Generation New York will dedicate staff time and share specialized local expertise to assist farmers and landowners in their region. They will 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 farmland owners or current farmers in finding someone to continue farming on their land.
“Thanks to the leadership of Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature, Farmland for a New Generation New York offers one of the nation’s most progressive approaches to bringing a new generation of farmers on to the land,” said David Haight, New York state director and vice president of programs for American Farmland Trust. “This program brings together partners from across New York to help a diverse community of new farmers as well as senior farmers and landowners looking to keep their land in farming.”
Launched in October 2018 and funded in the FY2018-19 state budget, Farmland for a New Generation New York is coordinated by AFT in partnership with the State of New York, Cornell Cooperative Extension, land trusts, agricultural organizations and others to help new and existing farmers, including many traditionally underserved populations, such as immigrants, refugees, people of color and indigenous people, to find farmland in New York.
AFT staff serve as a first point of contact for each farmland seeker and farmland owner who uses the online Resource Center (www.nyfarmlandfinder.org), providing customized support and one-on-one guidance on how to find farmland or a farmer. The website currently lists more than 120 farm properties available in New York and 200 farmers eagerly looking for land. AFT connects each website user to the nearest Regional Navigator who can provide local knowledge and on-the-ground support.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “These awards will help expand our network to support farmers, connecting those who want to continue our State’s longstanding tradition of agriculture with those who can provide the land needed for farming. We thank and congratulate our partners for the important work they are doing to match our current and next generation farmers with the valuable resources they need to succeed.”
State Senator Jen Metzger, 42nd district and chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee said, “I feel very strongly that Investments in helping new farmers find available farmland and in providing the mentoring and guidance they need for success is vitally important for the long-term sustainability of agriculture in New York. Services like those provided by American Farmland Trust and Farmland for a New Generation New York showcase the prime farmland and deep agricultural resources available in the state and are important for encouraging the next generation of New York farmers.”
State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, 123rd district and chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee said, “One of the biggest challenges facing our state’s agricultural industry is attracting a new generation of farmers. This new regional navigator program will provide an important link to help farmers seeking land and landowners who want to keep their land in farming. This approach is long overdue and will further strengthen New York’s ag economy.”
The Regional Navigators — selected with input from an advisory council of New York farmers and others — are anticipated to focus services in 48 of New York’s 62 counties. Additionally, farm seekers and farmland owners across New York can contact the Farmland for a New Generation New York staff at American Farmland Trust for assistance at 1-844-737-6506.
Farmland for a New Generation New York Regional Navigators:
• Agricultural Stewardship Association
• Columbia Land Conservancy
• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County
• Cornell Cooperative Extension Capital Area Agriculture and Horticulture Program
• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cattaraugus County
• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County
• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County
• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County
• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County
• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County
• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County
• Genesee Land Trust
• Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming
• National Young Farmers Coalition
• New York Agricultural Land Trust
• Pace University
• Peconic Land Trust
• Seneca Trail Resource and Conservation Development Council
To learn more about Farmland for a New Generation New York, and to find a Regional Navigator in your area visit www.nyfarmlandfinder.org/regional-navigators.
–American Farmland Trust