Conserving Long Islands Working Farms and Natural Lands

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, and a lack of affordable farmland for both new and established farmers, the Peconic Land 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:

I.   Explore and refine a new set of conservation tools and techniques that address the issues of farmland accessibility, affordability, and sustainability
II.  Buy, protect, rebuild and resell farms to farmers
III. Develop and expand our Farmland Leasing Program

Under the Farms for the Future 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 additional easement restrictions that ensures that  protected farmland remains in active agricultural production and affordable for farmers.

Farmland Leasing Program

Although the Trust has leased farmland to farmers since its inception, as part of our Farms for the Future Initiative the Trust has developed and formalized 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 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 will be accepted until March 1st of the upcoming growing season. Applications received after March 1st will be considered depending on land availability, the proposed operation, and the availability of staff and the Farms for the Future Advisory Committee to review and process the application.  

If you have any further questions about the Farms for the Future Initiative or the Farmland Leasing Program, please contact Luke McKay , Project Manager, at (631) 283-3195, or Dan Heston , North Fork Stewardship Manager, at (631) 734-5630. We look forward to hearing from you.