plan receives agricultural outreach grant
Saratoga PLAN has received a grant of $15,000 from American Farmland Trust (AFT) to support farmland conservation educational events. PLAN is using the money for conservation workshops and other events that will inform farmers and landowners about options for permanently conserving their lands, accessing or transferring land, and succession planning.
AFT announced $88,000 in grants to seven partner organizations in the Hudson Valley Farmlink Network (HVFN) to support their work with farmers looking for land and retiring farm landowners who wish to keep their land in farming.
Michael Horn, Conservation Director at Saratoga PLAN, said, “To continue PLAN’s strong record of conserving productive farmland in Saratoga County we depend on informed landowners who are interested in protecting their lands from development. These workshops serve to educate landowners about conservation options.”
Horn said that Conservation Workshops will be held on March 19 in Schuylerville and on March 22 in Ballston Spa. Both will begin at 7pm and are open to the public. More information is available on Saratoga PLAN’s website.
HVFN is comprised of 15 organizations, led by AFT, with a Hudson Valley Farmland Finder website linking farmers and landowners that has been used by more than 35,000 people. HVFN offers free one-on-one assistance and has helped more than 130 farmers find land. It was launched with primary support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF).
“A two-prong approach is needed to help young and beginning farmers in their journey to finding land,” says David Haight, New York State Director for AFT. “We need to make it easy for all farmers and landowners to get easy access to information. At the same time, we need experts who can help with the technical, legal, and financial issues that can stop even the most ambitious aspiring farmers in their tracks. These funds will go a long way in putting boots on the ground to support farmers and landowners.”
“The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is proud to help enable the transition of farmland to the next generation of farmers in New York by supporting AFT and the Hudson Valley Farmlink Network,” says Danielle Levoit, Program Officer for the Environment at DDCF. “Over the last four years, AFT has created a successful model for a network of partners coordinating to help farmers find land and protect some of our best regional farmland.”
Since 2014, AFT has awarded $258,000 to HVFN partner organizations. This year’s grants will support a wide range of projects that include educational and networking events, support for women farmers, site visits to evaluate soils, resources for Spanish-speaking farmers, and more.
Grant awardees include Saratoga PLAN, Agricultural Stewardship Association, Columbia Land Conservancy, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County, Glynwood, Orange County Land Trust, and Westchester Land Trust.
American Farmland Trust is the only national conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land. Since 1980, American Farmland Trust has helped to permanently protect more than five million acres of farmland and ranchland. Learn more at www.farmland.org.