Agriculture is an integral part of New York’s economy, culture, and landscape. The state’s 35,500 farms keep over 7 million acres of land in agricultural production, support more than 160,000 jobs, and generate in excess of $39 billion annually.
As a growing number of farmers prepare to retire, it is critical that young farmers are positioned to step up and carry on this legacy. Unfortunately, New York’s young farmers are struggling. Survey data suggests that finding affordable farmland is their toughest obstacle.
The following report focuses on the issue of land access for farmers in New York and the use of working farm easements with preemptive purchase rights to ensure the availability of affordable farmland for generations of New York farmers to come.