American Farmland Trust

Rating: 4.92 stars   12 reviews

Issues: Food, Environment

Location: 1200 18th St Nw Ste 800 Washington DC 20036 USA

Mission: The mission of American Farmland Trust is to help farmers and ranchers protect their land, produce a healthier environment and build successful communities.
Programs: Approximately half of the two billion acres of land in America is working agricultural land. This productive farm and ranch land is a finite resource as fertile soils take thousands of years to develop and are irreplaceable.  Every minute of every day, we lose two acres of agricultural land to development. The focus of AFT's work revolves around protecting this precious resource

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

We have been supporters of AFT for a number of years, having immediately been impressed with their mission when we first heard of them. Living in California, we are keenly aware of the need for food producing areas to remain agricultural, and for all people to have access to healthy food grown on family-owned farms.
We appreciate that AFT approaches it's mission on a variety of fronts:
being involved in promoting good national farm policy, limiting urban encroachment into food-producing areas, saving family farms and reporting on such farms and farmers all across the country. AFT has been a huge promoter of farmers markets also.
AFT does a wonderful job of keeping in touch with its donors with an excellent news magazine, personal visits to generous donors when a staff member is in town, and occasional mailings of a product grown on a family farm, with explanation of the good framing practices used to grow it.
Our experience is that AFT is always true to its mission in the initiatives it takes, but is flexible enough to change its emphasis as they evaluate the agricultural needs and problems of our country.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

We bought a small farm a year ago and have been instructed and inspired to be part of the solution by using what we've learned from AFT about best practices and sustainability.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have less development staff turnover.

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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

I worked for American Farmland Trust for five years and learned that there is no group that cares more about protecting America's farms and ranches than AFT. "No Farms, No Food" became our mantra, and in the years since I worked there I've seen this idea spread around the country. Because of AFT, people are realizing how important farms and ranches are in their lives. My own life changed for the better when I started shopping at farmers' markets and making the connection between local food and better health. I have AFT to thank for that.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my life and my career.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not suggest anything.

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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

In 2010, Peeled Snacks, makers of organic, gently-dried fruit snacks, entered a partnership with the American Farmland Trust to aid in its mission to help farmers and ranchers protect their land, produce a healthier environment, and build successful communities. The AFT's "No Farms, No Food" message resonates strongly with our philosophy at Peeled Snacks. As a company we believe in the importance of eating food as close to natural as possible, and in growing it as close to home as possible. The AFT has been a wonderful partner with whom to work, and we value the work that they are doing and appreciate all of their support and that of their members.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Please see above.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make sure they received more funding to continue their important work!

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I was raised on a cattle ranch in the San Luis Valley of Colorado where my ancestors started raising cattle and horses in 1875. My father and grandfathers raised us to be good stewards of our water and grassland resources and were early participants in conservation practices, like "rotational grazing", livestock and wildlife water development, establishing recreation easements on private lands with miles of fishing streams and pristine views for public use, etc. Today my uncle and his son continue to work with government and private sectors to improve land and water use and quality.

After college graduation I worked in the agricultural irrigation business, which afforded me the opportunity to work with farmers and ranches in Washington and Oregon's Columbia River basin, the San Joaquin Valley, desert farmlands of Arizona, Midwestern corn and grain growers, and, during droughts, growers in many Southeastern states.

During those years I gained a broad understanding of the challenges farmers and ranchers face when dealing with weather, droughts, fluctuating commodity markets, and the temptation to sell-out to land developers.

My first introduction to AFT came when the idea of Conservation Easements were first being introduced to ranchers as a vehicle to save critical farm and ranch lands for future generations while simultaneously improving the economic viability of the operation.

In 2002 our company, after researching nearly 100 different non-profit organizations, chose American Farmland Trust as a partner in a program we developed to: protect farm and ranch lands, educate consumers about where and how food is produced, help update and change US Farm Policy to better meet the economic, environmental, and market needs of U.S. family farmers and ranchers.

American Farmland Trust has proven to be a thought leader in forming Public Policy, a harbinger of innovative ideas aimed toward improving our nation’s watersheds, and a leading advocate of protecting farm and ranch land from development.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

AFT played a role in our ranch obtaining a conservation easement. AFT organized meetings with key Congressman regarding improvements to the Farm Bill. AFT organized and facilitated regional listeneing sessions regarding key issues facing farmers and ranchers.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand financial support from corporations foundations, and other organizations desiring to be aligned with thought leading organizations like AFT.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I am the manager of the Falls Church Farmers Market in Falls Church, Virginia. Last year the Falls Church Market won the American Farmland Trust honor as America's Favorite Market in the medium category. Working with the staff of the Trust was always a pleasure. I was impressed with the professionalism and the effective manner in which staff always stayed on message on the importance of preserving farmland. The information provided by the Trust to the Falls Church Farmers Market allowed us to promote the value of preserving farmland by supporting locally grown food. The service they provide to the community through their outreach is exemplary. Falls Church looks forward to continuing to work with the Farmland Trust to promote farmland preservation, by supporting local farmers who bring the best of local produce to the market each and every week. The American Farmland Trust is delivering a crtically valuable service by going above and beyond to educate the public about the value and improtance of preserving farmland.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Witnessing how customers and farmers at the market have embraced the message. Buy local - preserve farmland. People are more aware of the value because of the efforts of American Farmland Trust.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Given Falls Church is located so close to the headquarters it would be great to see if the staff of the Trust could make an annual visit to the market by setting up a promotional booth.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I'm a fan of AFT! in the mid 1990's four ranching families in northwestern Colorado near Steamboat Springs, some of homesteader stock, engaged AFt to help us come to terms with saving the agricultural character of this mountain ranching valley - one of the few still surviving today. They did the job! Today some 9000 acres our of twelve privately owned between forest service boundaries are protected. Since then about 10 % of all the privately owned land in this big county has also been protected by land trusts. And a state wide land trust created by one of these family members now boosts over 350,000 acres preserved in the whole state of Colorado. The cost to get this ball rolling back then - something short of $75,000.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

see above

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I believe farm and ranch land protection is an important national priority. I'd like to see every citizen understand how important this is to our future as human beings and world leadership on agricultural issues.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

AFT plays a critical role in protecting the nation's farmland for the multiple benefits that it can provide -- food, open space, and a variety of environmental services. I first learned of AFT through its critical and excellent work in trying to reform and improve the US farm bill so that it maximizes the public benefits that America receives through its support of agriculture. Today, AFT continues to play a role not only in shaping national policy but also in helping to build markets for regional agriculture and in establishing ways to encourage farms to provide cleaner water, sequester carbon, and generally benefit the environment. AFT does all of this, moreover, with a relatively small staff that is highly efficient and effective.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My work in the policy field at both a national and state level.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find ways to expand the organization's scope, which can only be done if even more people like you and me financially support its work.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a past board member of AFT and want to echo the comments of Miranda. AFT is unique in its leadership on both agricultural and environmental issues. From humble beginnings over thirty years ago, AFT has led the fight for farmland protection, convening farmers, ranchers, legislators and businesspeople who share a concern for agriculture and the environment. Farmland protection has always been a core value for AFT. It is inspiring to see the board and staff take on new challenges in promoting farm bill reform and the development of new markets for farmers and ranchers. AFT's staff is passionate and highly capable. They are supported by a terrific board with leaders from diverse backgrounds. I wish I were there to engage in the farm bill debates ahead!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a board member and conservationist

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue efforts to increase corporate financial support

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

In early 2010, the Rochester Public Market was nominated for "America's Favorite Farm Market". In August, 2010, our century old marketplace beat out stiff competition to win the honor from American Farmland Trust.
The contest itself serves as a vehicle to call attention to farming, and agricultural issues. Customers at farm markets across the nation cast their votes by the thousands for their favorite market. Throughout the summer of 2010, our own customer base was engaged in raising the level of farm market awareness on a weekly basis.
We are so grateful to the staff at American Farmland Trust for their support and guidance throughout the contest period. Through their efforts, our market has received local, regional and national attention. As our award plaque now hangs on the wall of the market office we recognize that it represents not just a contest, but an effort to keep farms, farm families and the importance of supporting agriculture at the forefront of our national consciousness.
Thank you American Farmland Trust for your creative approach to supporting "The Hands that Feed Us".
Joan B. Hildebrand
Rochester Public Market
Rochester, NY

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Receiving service to conduct our "Get out the vote" campaign.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Assist them in seeking out new and renewable funding sources to continue their good work.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I work with the City of Rochester's Public Market, and we entered into the 2010 American Farmland Trust "America's Favorite Market" contest--and won the large market category! Every aspect of our interface with American Farmland Trust was positive-- they informed and inspired our contest work every step of the way, as I am sure they were with every other entrant. When we had a question or concern, it was answered promptly and comprehensively; after we sealed the victory, the national and state offices of AFT were superbly helpful and supportive as we planned and executed an excellent celebration event and accompanying media. We were very happy with the article on our market in their national publication, too. In every way AFT helped to make our America's Favorite Farmers Market Contest experience enjoyable--and I can assure you that we would gladly provide the same testimonial even if we didn't win the contest!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Well before I worked with AFT on this particular project, I've followed, admired, and appreciated the effective and important work of the American Farmland Trust, both at the state and national levels. Every AFT staffer I've met has impressed me with their knowledge and commitment.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get them to hire me!!!

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Review from Guidestar