American Farmland Trust: New york State Advocacy Tool
Renew New York’sCommitmentto Protecting FarmsFor Future GenerationsThe Loss of Farms Hurts New York’sEconomy & Food Security
New York State: Losing Farms Fast Concern about food security, access to locally grown foods, nutrition, and public health issues such as childhood obesity has never been higher. Yet, New York continues to lose a farm to development every 3 ½ days. Over the last 25 years New York State has lost half a million acres of farmlandto subdivisions, strip malls and otherscattered development.Farmland LossThreatens New York’sFood Security • Today, New York’s active farmland is capable of feeding only 6 million of the state’s population of over 19 million. That’s just 30 percent of state residents. • 83 percent of the fruits, vegetables and dairy products produced in New York State are grown on land near cities lying directly in the path of sprawling development.
The Loss of Farms Hurtsthe State’s Economy The growing, processing, buying and selling of food has traditionally formed the foundation of all economies — and New York State is no different. New York’s farms generated $4.7 billion in economic activity in 2009 and serve as the cornerstone of the state’s $31 billion farm and food industry. Without enough farmland to meet New York’s demand for food we are sending our food dollars out of state. • Farms and farm-related businesses provide jobs in New York State, directly employing well over 100,000 people. Each of these on-farm jobs support approximately 3.5 jobs off the farm. That’s 350,000 jobs that depend on agriculture. • Farmers support the state economy by spending money close to home. In 2007farmers spent $3.5 billion on supplies andservices, putting money back into their localeconomies.
Protecting Farmlandin New YorkSuccessful Program StemsLoss of FarmsEstablished in 1996, New York State’sFarmland Protection Program supportslocal efforts to protect agricultural landfrom development and ensure the economicviability of agriculture. The FarmlandProtection Program is funded by the state’sEnvironmental Protection Fund (EPF). • Since 1992, 50 counties and 64 towns have received funds to develop agricultural and farmland protection plans to spur local action in supporting farming and stemming the loss of farmland. • New York State has awarded over $173 million in grants to permanently protect over 300 farms encompassing 72,000 acres of farmland with agricultural conservation easements.
$900 Total State Spending on Farmland Protection Programs for Northeast States$800 (Millions of Dollars) $826 New York Lags Behind Other States $710$700$600 $552$500 • Pennsylvania has almost as much farmland$400 as New York State but has protected 13$300 times more of it — and that’s with a state$200 $116 $124 $182 budget half the size of New York’s. $87$100 $57 $0 $4 $15 $28 • New Jersey, with only a tenth of New York’s farmland, has spent 10 times more a d rk ts ire t ut ey e nd e on i ar n an an et Yo ic rs ai h a aw rm l s ct yl ps v M Is Je hu ew yl ar ne Ve el am de s ew ac M D N on nn money than New York on saving farms. ho H s N C Pe as ew R M N
Funding Cuts BringFarmland ProtectionEfforts to StandstillNew York’s Farmland Protection Programstopped protecting new farms in 2008,despite the fact that the state continuesto lose farmland at the rate of two acresan hour. • In 2008, the Farmland Protection Program was originally funded at $30 million. By 2010 the program’s funding had been cut to $5.2 million. That is an 83 percent cut. • At the end of 2010, 61 farm families who have been awarded $70 million in state funding to protect their farms remain unpaid. This backlog represents 40 percent of the purchase of development rights grants awarded since the program’s inception. • Some of these families have been waiting three years or more to receive payment from the state. To make matters worse, over $23 million of federal, local and private funds that are committed to these projects are in jeopardy.
Environmental EPF Funding for Farmland Protection Program SFY 2006-07-SFY 2010-11Protection Fund Cuts $35,000,000Affect Farmland & $30,000,000 $25,000,000Food Security $20,000,000 $15,000,000The state’s Environmental Protection Fund is $10,000,000 $5,000,000the sole source of funding for the Farmland $0Protection Program. The Environmental 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-11 Budget Appropriation 2010-2011 After Executive FundingProtection Fund was created in 1993 to invest Reductionin protecting New York’s water, air and landresources. It is financed with funding from thestate’s real estate transfer tax. • In 2008, the Environmental Protection Fund appropriation was $255 million, but by 2010 it had decreased by 47 percent to $134 million. • Almost $500 million has been swept from the Environmental Protection Fund to pay for other state expenses— money that has never been repaid.
Renew New York State’s Commitment to Protecting Farmland New York State must take action to stem the loss of farms that threatens our economy and food security. 1. Maintain Integrity of theEnvironmental Protection Fund (EPF)• Sustain $134 million in EPF funding and disbursements.• Ensure EPF dollars are spent on the environment and not swept into the General Fund or diluted by offloads.2. Rebuild New York’s FarmlandProtection Program• Commit at least $12 million from the EPF for farmland protection and pursue alternative funding sources to complete existing farmland protection projects by the end of 2014.• Begin pursuing new farmland protection projects by the end of 2013.
3. Sustain State and LocalCapacity to Protect FarmsWhile Improving ProgramEfficiency • Continue to streamline the Farmland Protection Program with the goal of protecting farms in less than two years. • Sustain staffing at the Department of Agriculture and Markets to administer the Farmland Protection Program and other 4. Authorize Conservation core agency functions. Incentives for Local • Provide $1.575 million to the Conservation Partnership Program to strengthen land Governments and Maximize trust capacity and sustainability. the Use of Federal Resources • Authorize local governments to enact new incentives focused on slowing the loss of farmland. Encourage funding for federal programs and tax incentives to maximize the use of federal resources for protecting farms in New York.
New York Office 112 Spring St., Suite 207 • Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 (518) 581-0078 phone • (518) 581-0079 fax www.farmland.org/newyork • firstname.lastname@example.orgPlease “like” us on facebook at facebook.com/americanfarmlandtrustny
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