The American Farmland Trust is hosting its second annul Harvesting Opportunities in New York Conference on November 20 at the Albany, NY Hilton. Interest in the growth of local farm and food economies has never been higher yet New York continues to lose thousands of acres of farmland to real estate development each year. Over the last 25 years, nearly half a million acres of farmland, the equivalent of 4,500 farms, has been lost to housing developments, shopping malls and big box stores. In fact, over 80 percent of the fruits, vegetables and dairy products produced in New York are grown near urban areas and lie directly in the path of sprawling development.
But, this situation is changing. People across New York are hard at work supporting local farms and saving local farmland. Townspeople are hammering out zoning regulations that steer development away from the best farmland and don’t inhibit entrepreneurial farmers. More colleges, senior centers and other community institutions are seeking out locally grown food. And, land trusts, private landowners and others are making land available to young farmers, immigrants, veterans and other farmers looking to expand their farm businesses.
For people who care about New York agriculture and want to work together to grow local food economies, protect farmland from development and support the next generation of farmers. Conference participants will include: farmers, public officials from all levels of government, land trusts, local foods and public health leaders, hunger relief advocates, institutional food-service managers, agricultural organizations and concerned citizens.
Conference Tracks Include:
- Buy Local
- Save Farms in Your Community
- Spread the Word
- Farmland for the Next Generation of Farmers
The 2013 conference features 12 concurrent workshops as well as a morning and lunchtime program. A Cider Doughnut Continental Breakfast will jump-start the day and a lunch will be Thanksgiving—Locally Grown!
Discounted registration is available to beginning farmers and students. For information or to register call (518) 581-0078 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more and register, click here.