Farmers in urban and urban-influenced areas increasingly play an important role in feeding their communities and building stronger, healthier, and more localized food supply chains. These farms and gardens produce local food and often unite farming with nutrition and community development to spur public health outcomes and economic opportunities. Urban agriculture has also been a fertile ground to develop a new, more diverse generation of farmers.
Growing the Landscape for Urban Agriculture in Oneida County, NY, is a project built upon American Farmland Trust’s Farms Under Threat research, AFT’s many years of experience providing land linking and technical assistance to farm seekers and landowners through Farmland for a New Generation New York, and strong partnerships with organizations and individuals in Oneida County and across New York state. The objectives of the project were as follows:
- Assess the potential demand of new and emerging urban farmers seeking farmland in and around Utica and Rome, New York;
- Assess the potential supply of farmland from farming and non-operating landowners ; and
- Recommend policy strategies that support local food system development.
This opportunity assessment summarizes the results from the two-year planning project and provides the foundation for future work needed to support a new generation of urban-based farmers and gardeners in accessing land in and around Utica and Rome, and to create and sustain a vibrant and resilient food system in New York’s Mohawk Valley.