About Farm to Institution New York State
New York is one of the nation’s top food-producing states with 36,000 farms and over 7 million acres of farmland. Yet roughly 4,500 farms have been lost to real estate development since the early 1980s, leading farmers to seek greater economic opportunities to sustain their businesses.
American Farmland Trust is committed to protecting farmland and realizes one of the best ways to achieve this outcome is to secure economic opportunities to help farmers continue farming.
In 2012, American Farmland Trust brought together a group of leaders from a wide spectrum of agriculture, public health and economic development organizations to explore how to increase the volume of locally-grown food purchased by schools, colleges, hospitals, emergency food providers, senior centers and other institutions.
Our report, Scaling Up: Strategies for Expanding Sales of Local Foods to Public and Private Institutions in New York, is the result of the six-month assessment that identified systemic barriers and recommended short- and long-term actions to address them. The FINYS Leadership Team was formed in 2013 to lead the implementation of those recommendations.
FINYS has the following goals:
- Coordinating a Strong, Visible Farm to Institution Movement in New York: FINYS seeks to foster a robust farm to institution movement to drive institutional purchasing of local food and promote supportive public policies in New York.
- Fostering Demand for Local Food by Institutions: FINYS works to drive growth and document success in increasing local food procurement by schools, colleges and other institutions.
- Supporting Regional Networks and Partnerships: FINYS engages regional partners to share best practices and resources, foster business to business connections, and encourage collaboration.
- Building the Supply of Local Food for Institutions: FINYS supports New York farmers in expanding sales into institutions and adapting their business to meet the requirements of distributors and institutions.
American Farmland Trust is grateful for the support of FINYS from the Local Economies Project of the New World Foundation, Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation, and the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, as well as Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.