How a neighboring farm works for a full metropolis

ATLANTA – Joe Reynolds and Judith Winfrey, a couple who started farming Love Love 13 years ago, are part of a generation of landless American farmers who grow food in rented fields not far from downtown Atlanta.

They have no family farm to inherit. They work on two hectares, producing enough food to sell to a few restaurants and pay for seasonal product registrations. It is not a business model that costs enough to buy their own farm.

The Farm Fund aims to change that. The couple are the first beneficiaries of a new program that allows them to buy large tracts of farmland that are at risk for development and save enough money for farmers to buy it – local institutions such as universities and hospitals are buying as much as farmers want to sell.

The program is part of a new, national agricultural push for a non-profit organization that balances environmental protection and economic growth. Since its inception in 1985, the fund has protected more than eight million acres.

The new program aims to narrow the gap between small, urban farming and large, very large industrial areas – often referred to as middle-class farms, which once fed most of the region’s farms, but began to decline in the 1950s. And 60s.

With their rise, urban farms began to appear in almost all parts of the country, and local and physical food was widely appreciated.

“What we didn’t expect was how to develop that model if we realized we needed a strong, solid food system around the city center,” said Mindy Goldstein, director of the Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University. Legal infrastructure for the project. We need to think about how these farms feed on cities like Atlanta or Chicago, rather than the two hectares that feed the neighborhood.

The Agricultural Fund initially purchased 20 to 500 hectares of terraces within a 100-mile radius of Metropolitan Atlanta and limited them to agricultural use. In 10 years, he will lease the land to farmers who have worked with the money to develop business plans that will save money to buy their land directly.

Agricultural facilitation brings some special benefits to farmers. This is because the price of property can be reduced to 60 percent when it is taken out of the commercial market and becomes agricultural land, making it more affordable.

He said the goal is to buy at least 12,000 hectares of farmland near Atlanta, start 150 farms and support four or five regional farms over the next 20 years. Program for ten years.

Agricultural belief is not a new concept that helps young farmers buy land, but the Agricultural Fund has taken it further. Farmers become part of a network designed to help them create healthy farming businesses that include contracts with clients.

At the University of Atlanta, the University of Atlanta and the hospital have agreed to sign food purchase agreements with farmers, and then use those terms to obtain loans to improve farming. In turn, farms help to achieve the goal of using 75% of the food eaten by the university in the hospital system and 25 percent in domestic and sustainable food.

“We buy everything that grows,” said Dave Furman, executive director of Emory Campus Life, which serves more than 6,000 meals a day.

The Farm Fund will benefit from infrastructure and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as $ 2 million for the project. Proceeds from the lease and finally the sale of the farm will be returned to the program for additional land purchases.

Hiring small and first-generation farmers who have historically been unable to own land is a priority. The Atlanta Refugee and Immigrant Farmer Joint Global Farmers is the second group to rent a farm under the program, behind the Georgia-American American Farmers Association.

Cattle ranchers Will and Charles Godows lined up to acquire 300 acres[300 ha]of land. Another farm road, Pride Road, is run by the Muhamin family, who moved to Atlanta after losing their farm in Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

“This is only for farmers and farm groups who want to own their own land,” said Mr Funderburke. It is not designed to lease farmers for long periods of time.

The next target is Chicago, with young and minority farmers in Illinois and millions of acres of farmland within 100 miles. That much land is either used in chemical-based farming for crops such as corn, or there are no infrastructure needed to grow and process fruits and vegetables.

“All the ingredients here are very mature for this type of vehicle,” said Amy Brownley, director of the Great Lakes Regional Protection Fund. We have a ton of farmers and a ton of land, but it needs to be redeveloped to land that can support food production.

Owners of Love Is Love Farm will continue to work on one of the four acres they rent in Atlanta for the year, but are shifting their focus to their new land. They rent about 70 acres[70 ha]in Mansfield, 50 miles[50 km]from the city.

The packing shed and the seasonal polyethylene structures make huge caves, only for the farmers to dig a hole in the middle of a field. They planted their first crop last month – sweet potatoes that end up in Emory kitchens.

Their new land also opened the door to other opportunities. Winfrey and Mr. Reynolds, both in their 40s, joined three other young farmers to turn love into a labor-ownership partnership. The idea is to create something that can be transmitted.

“Joe and I are elders here,” said Winfrey. Because we have a land that will be protected forever and we have a technical structure that can last forever, we can go out when we are ready and know that a new person can come in and continue this.

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