New York State budget includes $20 million for farmland protection in the Hudson Valley
Agriculture and land preservation groups across the Hudson Valley are applauding the inclusion of farmland protection funds in the New York State budget passed on April 1st.
With $20 million earmarked for protecting farms in the Hudson Valley region, the budget’s adoption marks an important investment in the Hudson Valley regional farming economy. Not only will the funding help keep existing farms in production, it will also enable a new generation of farmers to purchase tracts of farmland that would otherwise be at risk for development. Farmland viability is a critical building block for the region’s ability to feed itself and to meet the burgeoning demand for local food in New York City, and it represents a cornerstone of LEP’s mission to build a resilient food system.
We also acknowledge the impressive coordinated effort that was launched by area farmers, business leaders, and non-profit organizations as budget negotiations took place in recent weeks. A number of leading groups dedicated to land preservation, food business development, and agriculture in the Hudson Valley made sure that lawmakers understood the connection between farmland protection and economic development, and between new farm ownership and food security. Among them were LEP grantee partners Scenic Hudson, American Farmland Trust, and the Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation (HVADC), who, together with LEP, worked with government officials, land trusts and other non-profits in a spirit of collaboration that is becoming a signature of the Hudson Valley food and farming community.
Read Scenic Hudson’s press release issued April 1, 2015.