Farmland access issues are not new in New England. Our regional agricultural land base anchors over 33,000 farm businesses. Preserving-and expanding-this land base, as well as assuring its availability for new farmers, are critical to our future food security, environmental quality and economic development.
A recent New England Farmland Convening was unique in its breadth and depth of focus on the issue. Land For Good, in partnership with American Farmland Trust (AFT) and in collaboration with the six New England state Departments of Agriculture and state USDA-NRCS offices, co-hosted a day-long workshop for 85 of the region’s farm and conservation leaders. The presentations, dialogue and working groups spanned topics from strengthening farmland protection tools, expanding farmland access for new and established farmers, and improving farmland resiliency in the face of climate change. We focused on understanding the region’s farmland resources and on initiatives to protect farmland and expand access.
LFG presented its findings and recommendations from our Land Access Project and facilitated a session on engaging landowners and investors around farmland access. The convening helped identify important opportunities and challenges, and generated new and fruitful connections among agency personnel, nonprofits, and funders. We hope that the dialogue and outputs will inspire more collaborative work on these issues across our region.
Read more and access presentation slides, resources and maps on the AFT website.