Our history

American Farmland Trust was founded by Hudson Valley cattle farmer Peggy Rockefeller and other farmers and conservationists in 1980 to protect farms and ranches from poorly planned development and to promote environmentally sound stewardship of our nation's farmland. We pioneered the idea of conservation easements to protect agricultural lands, helped to start and train agricultural land trusts, created state legislation across the country and lobbied for money to finance farmland conservation transactions, and brought millions of dollars in environmental stewardship funds to many states through our national Farm Bill advocacy. Many of the original compelling studies and innovative approaches were pioneered right here in New York State.

Today, the organization is headquartered in Washington D.C. with established field offices in six regions of the country; a staff of 50 with expertise in key agricultural, environmental, and policy areas; a research Center for Agriculture in the Environment; and a Farmland Information Center. During the past 29 years, AFT helped create more than 50 state and local farmland protection programs, as well as countless local ordinances and policies to enable farmers to protect and steward their land and enhance their long-term economic viability.

Our Work in New York State

AFT's acclaimed Farming on the Edge studies have found that New York includes 3 of the Top 20 Most Threatened Farming Regions in the United States: the Hudson Valley, Suffolk County, Long Island, and the northern rim of the Finger Lakes. Indeed, a farm is lost to development every 3 days in New York State. To address this irreplaceable loss of fertile land, AFT established an office in New York in 1990. Together with our partners, we have permanently protected tens of thousands of acres of New York State farmland and worked to direct growth away from the most productive land. At the same time, we are doing more to assure that the land is farmed in an environmentally responsible way, so that the benefits of New York's 7.5 million acres of farmland will exist for future generations.

AFT's work in New York focuses on three areas:
> Conduct research and educational programs to demonstrate the importance of farms and farmland and advance leading ideas to keep land in farming.
> Encourage towns and counties to support economic opportunities for local farmers and protect farmland.
> Advocate for state and federal policies that accelerate the permanent protection of farmland in New York.

Our New York Partners

AFT is a respected leader in New York State for our ability to bridge diverse interests who share the common goal of vibrant agricultural communities. We work from the kitchen table to the Congress with farmers, elected officials, environmentalists, land trusts, those who value locally-produced foods from New York's family farms, federal, state and local governments and government agencies, and those who appreciate rural landscapes and our rich agricultural history and culture.

Join Us

If you care about food, farms, and farmland, we want you to join us in advocating for a strong future for New York farms. Contact us to learn how you can help.

Contact Us

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (518) 581-0078
Mail: 112 Spring Street, Suite 207, Saratoga Springs NY 12866
Website: www.farmland.org/newyork