Adirondack Sustainable Communities (ASC) was awarded a grant from the “Farm Credit AgEnhancement” program for an Adirondack Park farm land mapping project to connect farmers with landowners who may want to lease or sell their land. The goal of the program is to strengthen the agriculture industry in the Adirondacks by increasing the amount of farm land in production.
ASC is expected to analyze existing Federal, State and County data to identify existing property use and current landowners of areas with suitable agricultural soils. A user friendly computer mapping program will be developed to display this information with the goal to connect aspiring farmers with landowners interested in turning their properties into active farm land. The program’s final format will be determined based on interviews with involved user groups. ASC anticipates the program will be accessible through the Internet.Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement of Cobleskill, New York provided the grant award. Farm Credit Northeast supports programs, projects and events that are intended to strengthen agriculture, commercial fishing and the forest products sector in the Northeast. This program is a combined effort of Farm Credit East, Farm Credit of Maine, Yankee Farm Credit and CoBank.
Adirondack Harvest, a co-sponsor of the project, has been providing technical assistance to small scale farmers and in developing markets for locally produced farm products. Demand for locally grown products continues to expand and local markets are presently limited by supply. Other supporting organizations include the Adirondack Land Trust (Keene Valley) and the Adirondack North Country Association (Saranac Lake).
“Continued support for people entering the agricultural profession and landowners of farm properties is essential to ensure long term viability for agricultural in the Adirondack region,” a statement issued to the press said. “Increasing productive farmland will stimulate economic growth, provide jobs, enhance the viability of existing farming efforts, increase the size of the farming community, and help meet the growing local demand for agricultural products.”