Farmland, Food and Livable Communities
The Farmland, Food and Livable Communities conference brought together farmers and ranchers with planners, policy makers, practitioners and educators to share knowledge and build relationships to ensure we have the land, people and infrastructure needed to support future food production, encourage place-based investment and job creation, improve environmental performance and support public health.
With more than 40 keynote, plenary and workshop sessions, AFT’s Farmland Food and Livable Communities conference was organized around four cross-cutting themes:
- Conserving Farmland and Growing Smart: Sessions addressed impacts of the new Farm Bill on conservation and farmland protection; showcased exemplary land use planning and explored effective local policies; highlighted model Purchase of Agricultural Easement programs; and provided guidance to land trusts that actively want to conserve land for farming and ranching.
- Supporting Agriculture and Community Food Security: These sessions explored the links between local farms, economic development and food security; delved into successful approaches that build healthy food systems through planning, policy and public investment; showcased exemplary food policy councils; and created new opportunities to align agriculture and public health.
- Helping the Next Generation Enter and Succeed in Agriculture: Who will farm in the future? These sessions examined the opportunities and constraints facing young farmers; shared success stories from farmer veterans; provided new perspectives on the next generation of farm households; and addressed important business planning needs and access to land and capital.
- Promoting Farmland Succession and Access to Land: Sessions in this track explored diverse topics such as: women non-operating landowners; improving land access and securing affordable farmland; how public entities and land trusts bring new land into production; private and institutional investors, including why agriculture is now a “hot” investment sector and how investors work with farmers.