ALBANY, NY - American Farmland Trust applauds Governor Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to farms and the environment in his 2019-20 Executive Budget by proposing to maintain funding for the Environmental Protection Fund at $300 million, and to strengthen the state’s commitment to mitigate climate change by investing in research and programs which will help farmers sequester carbon in the soil while becoming more resilient in the face of extreme weather.
“New York is poised to be a progressive leader on climate change by making farms and farmland a key part of the state’s climate mitigation agenda”, said Samantha Levy, New York Policy Manager for American Farmland Trust. “To do that, we need to continue strong funding for the state’s Farmland Protection Program to ensure that we don’t lose more farms to real estate development, while expanding support to help farmers sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as the Governor has proposed. Our research in New York and California shows that the conversion of farmland to development corresponds with increased greenhouse gas emissions. We commend the Governor’s proposed new investment into smart growth, and continued investment in protecting farmland, and look forward to ensuring these programs achieve further climate benefits.”
Levy added, “It is also critical that New York continue funding for programs, such as Farmland for a New Generation New York, that are helping bring a new generation of farmers onto the land and strengthen our local farm economy. Finally, as proposed by Governor Cuomo yesterday, New York should continue to expand access to healthy local food for all New Yorkers by sustaining the ground-breaking funding in last year’s budget for Farm to School. We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo and State Legislators to ensure that these priorities are included in the final State Budget.”
American Farmland Trust is the only national conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting environmentally sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Since 1980, AFT's innovative work has helped to permanently protect more than 6.5 million acres of farmland and ranchland and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more. No Farms, No Food. Learn more at www.farmland.org.