STORIES FROM THE FIELD: How State and Federal Programs Support Farmers, Fishermen, Food Entrepreneurs and Consumers in the Northeast
Northeast farmers, food entrepreneurs, community-based organizations, and researchers are using federal agriculture and food systems programs, many of which leverage innovative state programs, to create economic opportunities for farms and food businesses, improve consumer access to healthy food, help new entry and next generation farmers succeed, revive rural economies, and foster innovation. Despite the positive impact these federal programs have sparked, our region had to advocate for their inclusion the the recent Farm Bill reauthorization. With support from these programs, Northeast farmers and food entrepreneurs meet consumers’ ever-evolving tastes, diversify market channels, steward the environment, and sustain economic viability. As the following stories illustrate, ensuring that these programs continue and are fully funded is critical to sustaining an agricultural sector that creates jobs, generates economic activity in each of our states, and ensures a thriving agriculture future for our entire region.
These stories were a collaborative effort of the following organizations to prepare for the NASDA meetings and support Farm Bill advocacy: American Farmland Trust, Community Food Funders, CT Working Lands Alliance, Food Solutions New England, Gardening the Community, GrowNYC, Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation, Land For Good, Maine Farmland Trust, Massachusetts Food System Collaborative, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, National Young Farmers Coalition, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Springfield Food Policy Council, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders, and The John Merck Fund.
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