Monday, April 6, 2015

State Budget Includes $35 M for Protecting Farmland

The recently passed New York state budget for 2015-16 includes
$35 million for protecting working farmland. 

“We greatly appreciate the leadership of Gov. Cuomo and the state Legislature for making the biggest investment in the state’s history in protecting working farms”, said David Haight, New York State Director for  American Farmland Trust. “This record level of funding places New York among the top five states in the nation in annual state farmland protection funding.” 

The state budget includes $15 million in funding for New York’s Farmland Protection Program from the Environmental Protection Fund and $20 million in a special allocation for the permanent protection of farmland in the Hudson Valley.  

Our goal is to keep New York a national leader in state funding for protecting farmland,” Haight said.

New York state has lost nearly half a million acres of farmland to real estate development since the 1980s, threatening the state’s important agricultural economy and food security.

In 2016, New York will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its agricultural conservation easement grant program, launched in 1996 by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo. Since its inception, the program has granted $134,476,261 to permanently protect 56,331 acres on 226 farms. 

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