- New York’s farms are a key element of our economy, selling over $4.7 billion in products in 2009 (New York Farm and Food Alliance, Growing New York’s Future)
- Food grown by New York farmers is a key ingredient in the food processing businesses across the state and combined with wholesale and retail food trades and the food service industries which, as noted in the Farm NY policy platform, combined represents over 10 percent of the state’s overall gross output of $1.3 trillion. (New York Farm and Food Alliance, Growing New York’s Future)
- The demand for local farm products and local food continues to grow. In October 2010, USDA reported that New York farmers sold $362 million in farm products directly to consumers, “a 57% increase in annual direct market sales since 2000. (New York Farm and Food Alliance, Growing New York’s Future)
- Studies conducted over the last 20 years show working lands generate more public revenues than they receive back in public services. In 1996, working land in Kinderhook, NY had a revenue ratio of 1 to .17, which on a community basis is more profitable than industry (1 to .21) and residential (1 to 1.05). (American Farmland Trust, Fact Sheet: Cost of Community Services Studies)
- As of 2007, there were 554 farms in Columbia County which generated $66,000,000 in annual revenue.
- According to the Center for Disease Control, 17 percent of children and adolescents in America are obese (triple the rate of a generation ago) and need to eat more fruits and vegetables and exercise more often. New York is ranked as one of the top five states in the country in growing numerous fruits, vegetables, dairy and other products. (New York Farm and Food Alliance, Growing New York’s Future)
- According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a farm is lost to development in New York every 3 days.
- From 2002 to 2007, Columbia County lost over 13,000 acres in working farmland. (2007 Census of Agriculture)
- Statistics, Farmland Information Center
Increase State Assistance Payments for Farmland Protection
- American Farmland Trust Letter
- Annual funding for the Farmland Protection Program was cut by more than 80% between 2008 and 2010 (From $30 million to $5.2 million).
- The Farmland Protection Program has a backlog of $70 million in contracted commitments to protect 61 farms.
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