Agriculture is Vital to Economy and Food Security

New York State Regional Councils for Economic Development | American Farmland Trust – New York

New York’s newly formed Regional Councils for Economic Development held their first meetings in August. These councils are intended to coordinate economic development across New York. Each region is competing for up to one billion dollars in economic aid from the state. Each council will write regional economic development plans by November with opportunities for public involvement. We need to get out there and make sure that our Regional Councils understand that the business of agriculture is critically important to both our economy and our food security.

Local Food and Local Farms

As part of the Regional Councils initiative currently underway in New York state, the American Farmland Trust is urging their members to convey the message to their regional development bodies that agriculture is a critical part of the economy.

The ag sector often gets lost amongst the weeds (if you will excuse the pun) as regions focus on sexy growth sectors, but an active agribusiness sector has the potential to support a region both locally through jobs and food, as well as globally through exports. The ag sector also has a history of cooperating regionally and on a commodity basis, and as such has a great deal of experience to offer when it comes to doing business in the spirit of coopetition.

No Farms No Food

The message is simple and couldn’t be more clear—America’s farms and ranches provide an unparalleled abundance of fresh, healthy and local food, but they are rapidly disappearing.

Ninety-one percent of America’s fruit and seventy-eight percent of our vegetables are grown near metro regions, where they are in the path of development. And America has been losing more than an acre of farmland every minute. That’s why supporting local food and farms is more important than ever!

What are you doing in your region to support and capitalize on the farm and food sector? How can your region benefit from promoting this sector?

7 Ways to Save FarmlandNo Farms No Food