Managing Director, Farmland and Community Initiatives
Julia Freedgood is AFT’s Managing Director for Farmland and Community Initiatives and oversees federal, state and local program and policy efforts to support farmland protection and agricultural viability. This includes oversight of field operations in several AFT regions, the Farmland Information Center, Planning for Agriculture programming, and research, technical assistance and education to support local and regional food systems, farmland succession, access to land and support for family farmers.
The editor and lead author of Saving American Farmland: What Works, Freedgood has written and produced dozens of reports and publications. A recognized national leader in providing services to communities, Freedgood has spent much of her distinguished career ensuring a voice for agriculture in the community planning process. She developed a methodology to assess the contribution of farmland to local budgets called Cost of Community Services studies which have now been conducted in more than 150 communities across the country.
With a background in policy analysis and development, Freedgood works closely with agricultural constituencies from farmers and ranchers to USDA field personnel, with municipal, county and state officials, and with planners, academics and land trusts to ensure agricultural land is available and affordable for farming and ranching, natural resources are managed with sound conservation practices, farmers and ranchers are economically viable and communities support a secure and resilient food supply.
Before joining AFT, Freedgood was executive director of the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets, researcher on a 3-year project called Sustaining Agriculture near Cities at Tufts University School of Nutrition, and director of sheep industry redevelopment projects at the New England Farm Center. She holds a B.A. from Hampshire College and an M.A. from the School of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts.
1200 18th St. NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036