Farms for the Future Initiative
Long Island’s farms and farmers are central to our economy, heritage, and the stewardship of valuable natural resources. Faced with intense development pressures, escalating real estate values, a decline in food production farming, a scarcity of new and startup farmers, and a lack of affordable farmland for both new and established farmers, the Trust is working to ensure that Long Island’s farms and farming communities remain viable and productive now and in the future. “Farms for the Future” is a special initiative that the board and staff of the Trust have undertaken to explore these challenges in depth and problem-solve using pragmatic approaches.
“Through our Farms for the Future initiative, we hope to ensure that farmland, once conserved, remains in production and available to farmers. If our communities are going to have viable, productive farms, we must take steps that go beyond farmland protection. We must assure that both farmers and the business of farming can continue,” explained Trust President John v.H. Halsey.
The Initiative's primary objectives are as follows:
- To explore and refine a new set of conservation tools and techniques that address the issues of farmland accessibility, affordability, and sustainability
- To keep agricultural land, once conserved, actively farmed
- To create opportunities for farmers to start or expand their commercial agricultural operation
- To promote the diversity of farming and farmers on Long Island
- To support and develop economically viable agricultural operations with an emphasis on food production farming
- To ensure that agricultural land remains available and affordable for farmers
Under this Initiative, the Trust has developed an extensive Farmland Leasing Program that includes an incubator for the next generation of farms and farmers and sold farmland encumbered with overlay easements that further restrict non-agricultural activities and real estate values ensuring that it remains in active agricultural production.
As part of our ongoing Farms for the Future Initiative, the Trust has developed a Farmland Leasing Program for both new and established farmers. This program provides farmers that have an emphasis on food production and who are looking to begin or expand their commercial agricultural operations with assistance and access to affordable farmland. For more information, including the application requirements, please read the Farmland Leasing Program Information and Application Packet . Applications are reviewed and accepted throughout the year.
If you have any further questions about the Farms for the Future Initiative or the Farmland Leasing Program, please contact Luke McKay, Project Manager, or Dan Heston, North Fork Stewardship Manager, at (631) 283-3195. We look forward to hearing from you.