The foundation of U.S. agriculture is our land, people, research and innovation.
Voice for Change
"There’s no more land being made. We have to grow the food someplace. With the population growing, that means we have to keep increasing what we produce on each acre."
Protect the Agricultural Land Base
A strategic base of our best agricultural land is essential to our long-term ability to produce food, fiber and energy. Federal farm policy must adequately address the threat to our strategic agricultural land resources from non-farm development and fragmentation.
AFT calls for doubling funding for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) while enhancing its effectiveness to permanently protect more farm and ranch land; creating a federal matching grants program that helps state or local governments identify and implement strategies for land protection and farm transition; and strengthening the Farmland Protection Policy Act so the federal government stops being a catalyst for farmland conversion and instead becomes an active player in protecting land for future agricultural needs.
» AFT's Recommendations for Protecting the Agricultural Land Base
» AFT's Recommended FRPP Improvements
Assist Beginning Farmers and Provide Opportunities for Minority Farmers
Our nation is at a crucial stage in helping a new generation take over the land, which requires new policies to improve access to land, credit and tools to manage risks. With the rising price of land and increasing capital investment required, beginning farmers face growing challenges.
As we create a farm bill that is more equitable and provides benefits to a wider range of farmers, special attention must be taken to craft agricultural programs that address the needs of minority producers who have not participated fully in past efforts.
» AFT's Recommendations to Provide Opportunities for Beginning and Minority Farmers
Improve Research, Education and Technical Assistance
Research, education and outreach allow farmers and ranchers to respond quickly to market opportunities, while helping industry turn raw materials into exciting new uses and training the next generation of farmers and scientists.
AFT recommends an independent national institute to bring together all basic and applied agricultural research with extension and education programs that solve problems and create more opportunities.
» AFT's Recommendations for Research and Extension Improvements
» How AFT's Research and Extension Improvements Work - Impacts and Examples
Enhance Emergency Preparedness
U.S. agriculture loses more than $120 billion every year to invasive pests and diseases. U.S. farm policy must strengthen the ability of agriculture to protect against the introduction, establishment, reemergence and threat of plant and animal pests and diseases.