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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Farmland Preservation, Food, Land Resources Conservation, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

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

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

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.

Review from Guidestar

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

Review from Guidestar

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Review from Guidestar