Farms for the FutureThe issue of access to affordable farmland by both established and start-up farmers has become of particular concern within the past decade as the value of farmland – even protected farmland – has climbed beyond that which is affordable to most farmers, whether new or established.
With the support of its donors, the Trust has begun to identify ways to help new farm operations get off the ground and established growers to expand their businesses with an eye toward their long-term economic health and viability. This initiative includes farmland leases, incubator programs, and sales of land with overlay easements that further limit non-agricultural activities and real estate values.
“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.
Objectives of the Farms for the Future Initiative:
- Keep conserved agricultural land actively farmed
- Create opportunities for farms to start-up and/or expand their commercial agricultural operations
- Promote the diversity of farming and farmers on Long Island
- Encourage food production farming
- Ensure that farmland is available and affordable for farmers
As part of our ongoing Farms for the Future Initiative, the Trust has developed an incubator for the next generation of farms and farmers. The Farm Incubator Program formalizes this work and provides farmers that have an emphasis on food production and who are looking to start or grow their commercial agricultural operations with access to productive farmland. For more information, read the Farm Incubator Program Application Packet. Applications are reviewed and accepted throughout the year.
If you have any further questions about Farms for the Future or the Farm Incubator Program, please Kim Quarty, Project Manager, or Dan Heston, North Fork Stewardship Manager, at 631-283-3195. We look forward to hearing from you.