Agriculture, Food, Nutrition

American Farmland Trust

  • Washington, DC
  • http://www.farmland.org

Mission Statement

The mission of American Farmland Trust is to save the land that sustains us by protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land.

Main Programs

  1. Farmland Protection
  2. Agriculture & Environment
  3. Keeping Farmers on the Land
  4. Federal Farm Policy
  5. State Issues and Programs

service areas

National

Self-reported by organization

ruling year

1985

chief executive

Mr. Ralph Grossi

Self-reported by organization

Keywords

farmland protection, local food, conservation, ranch, agriculture, farm, farming, farmers markets, smart growth, farmers, ranchers

Self-reported by organization

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EIN

52-1190211

Also Known As

AFT

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Farmland Preservation (K25)

Land Resources Conservation (C34)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Impact statement

American Farmland Trust is the nation's leading conservation organization dedicated to saving America’s farm and ranch land, promoting environmentally sound farming practices and supporting a sustainable future for farms. As the vital link among farmers, conservationists and policy-makers, we’re focused on ensuring the availability of the land that provides fresh food, a healthy environment and lasting rural landscapes.

Programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Self-reported by organization

Program 1

Farmland Protection

Over three decades, AFT has helped to protect more than five million acres of the nation’s farm and ranch land from development. We work side-by-side with communities to plan for agriculture, fight for state and federal programs and policies that save farmland, and address the most critical issues facing the nation’s farmers and ranchers today.

Category

None

Budget

Population Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

None

Program 2

Agriculture & Environment

American farmers and ranchers steward some of the most fertile farmland in the world, but they need polices and programs that help them maintain or improve their land’s productivity while providing environmental benefits like clean water and wildlife habitat. AFT’s work helps farmers protect soil health, adapt to a changing climate and remain a source of environmental solutions.

Category

None

Budget

Population Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

None

Program 3

Keeping Farmers on the Land

AFT is taking the national lead on crafting innovative programs that can keep family farmers on the land—and help them pass their farmland on to the next generation. We’re finding ways to help farmers stay economically viable, supporting next generation farmers,
promoting food system planning, and seeking new opportunities to help family farmers thrive.

Category

None

Budget

Population Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

None

Program 4

Federal Farm Policy

Every five years, the Farm Bill provides a significant opportunity to influence agricultural activity: what is grown, where, when and how, and who benefits from this production. In the 2014 Farm Bill, American Farmland Trust advocated to move U.S. farm policy forward by strengthening policies, programs, and resources to protect farmland as a strategic national resource; promote sound environmental stewardship through advancing adoption of conservation practices; and encourage the development of a more diverse, healthy, and equitable food system consistent with thriving rural and urban communities.

Category

None

Budget

Population Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

None

Program 5

State Issues and Programs

Our field offices help states and communities pass farmland protection policy initiatives and advance our work on local foods and protecting the environment. AFT empowers local leaders and farmland protection activists throughout the country.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Budget

Population Served

General Public/Unspecified

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Self-reported by organization

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    American Farmland Trust is the only national conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land. Farmland loss affects every aspect of our lives and is one of the most urgent issues of our time. The nutritious food grown on our farms has a direct impact on our health, economy, environment, and communities – and supports our connection to the vast natural and cultural landscapes that built America.

    America has lost over 23 million acres of farmland in the past three decades. That loss continues at a rate of 50 acres every hour as we face emerging challenges, critical policy issues, and threats to our most valuable farmland on the edge of growing cities.

    Over the next five years, American Farmland Trust seeks to accomplish the following:

    • Increase permanent protection of the most valuable and most threatened farmland in the U.S.;
    • Decrease conversion of the most valuable and most threatened farmland in the U.S.;
    • Increase soil health and reduced nutrient runoff in the most vulnerable watersheds while helping family farmers prosper for the long-term;
    • Keep farm and ranch land in production as it transitions from the current to the next generation;
    • Expand economic opportunities and access to markets for family farmers and ranchers – especially those threatened by development pressures.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Saving America’s Farmland

    Saving our remaining farm and ranch land is more important than ever before. Our continued efforts to protect farmland must overcome, ill-planned development, eroding soils, declining aquifers, exponential population growth and increased local and global demand for food. AFT’s core strategies include:

    • Create State of America’s Farmland, the most comprehensive national snapshot of farm and ranch land conservation ever undertaken – showing farm and ranch lands lost over the past decades and targeting the areas where future losses can be expected due to development and a changing climate.
    • Advance federal farmland protection policy and reform America’s Estate Tax policies to be farm-friendly.
    • Establish AFT as the go-to source of credible information on farmland protection by providing technical assistance and training.

    Promoting Sound Farming Practices

    Through proven conservation techniques that protect soil, water and habitat, AFT is helping more family farms provide solutions to our greatest environmental challenges. AFT’s core strategies include:

    • Increase federal Farm Bill conservation funding to restore funding back to 2008 levels.
    • Reduce nutrient runoff leaving farms and target funds to the most vulnerable places.
    • Complete demonstration projects that achieve improved soil health and cleaner water in target watersheds (San Francisco Bay Delta, Puget Sound, Upper Mississippi, Ohio River Basin, Chesapeake Bay, Long Island Sound, and western New York);
    • Participate in the world’s largest water quality trading market in the Ohio River Basin.
    • Engage stakeholders in America’s food and farming system to find common ground balancing regulations and incentives.

    Keeping Family Farmers on the Land

    National and global food security depends on the ability of American farmers to grow food. Farmland is most vulnerable when it is passing from one generation to the next. An estimated 400 million acres of U.S. farmland will change hands in the coming years due to an aging population of farmers. Even with the wave of renewed interest in farming among the younger generation, there are many barriers to finding affordable land, accessing financial capital and making a successful living. AFT’s core strategies include:

    • Help states and communities plan for the future of farming and ranching by adopting “farm friendly” land use policies.
    • Train the next generation of leaders and critical thinkers and deliver graduate-level planning curriculum to 10 universities.
    • Build capacity and a network of planners, local officials and stakeholder partners in 20 communities to support farm viability through local planning, policy development and public investment.
    • Help landowners secure the land for the long-run through estate planning.
    • Reform policies that put farmland at risk during land transition.
    • Train 1,000 farmland advisers to help the next generation of family farmers.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    American Farmland Trust has a strong, experienced, nationally respected team of leaders working across the country to make a difference at all levels – from planning round-tables in small towns to advancing policy reform on Capitol Hill.

    Headquartered in Washington DC, AFT’s six regional offices cover some of the most threatened agricultural landscapes and watersheds in the country.

    A key component of AFT’s approach involves partnering with national, regional and local organizations to leverage outcomes and engage broader audiences. Key partners include USDA, in particular its Natural Resources Conservation Service and its local offices; National Association of Conservation Districts and its county district offices; and Land Trust Alliance and many local and regional land trusts. AFT also partners with a variety of other institutions: agricultural groups, universities, local governments, sustainable agriculture groups, land trusts, environmental groups, and many others.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    American Farmland Trust has a five-year strategic plan that will take the organization through 2020. As part of that plan, the organization defined clear one-year objectives within each Program Area. The work is articulated in a matrix format that allows directors to account for milestones on a quarterly basis.

    AFT’s annual objectives are achieved through the core activities of the organization, which include: research, technical assistance and outreach, policy and advocacy and demonstration projects located throughout the country.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Over three and a half decades, AFT helped permanently protect more than five million acres of farm and ranch land. Our work across the country continues to make progress on many fronts. However the critical need for American Farmland Trust’s work continues today. The following are several key initiatives that tackle the challenges facing America’s farmland, water, soil, farmers and food today.

    State of America’s Farmland – American Farmland Trust has launched one of its most ambitious projects to date. In addition to analyzing data-driven trends, the project will show what is working to protect farmland nationally and what communities can do to change the status quo.

    Estate Tax Policy – It is critical that the U.S. Congress adopt common-sense reforms to alleviate unintended consequences of the Estate Tax. AFT is a leading advocate for federal policy reform that will ensure no family farm is taken out of production and sold for development to pay estate taxes.

    The Next Generation of Family Farmers – American Farmland Trust is helping the next generation of family farmers get access to land and care for it for the long-term. Women farmers and landowners are increasingly taking ownership of farm and ranch land in America. American Farmland Trust is developing tailored information and assistance to help them transition to leadership roles in agriculture and achieve their goals of building successful farms. AFT is engaging women landowners through Conservation Learning Circles to bring local groups of women landowners together for facilitated discussions on conservation issues in agriculture.

    Conservation on the Farm – AFT has boots-on-the-ground helping advisers, farmers and landowners adopt conservation practices to protect soil, water and habitat. Our accomplishments in this area have positioned AFT at the critical intersection between farm viability and environmental protection.

    Communications and Outreach – AFT has doubled its membership ranks in the past three years alone, and is rapidly expanding its reach. Through our communications strategies, media relations, grassroots advocacy efforts and social media, AFT will continue rally support for farmland protection and make it national priority.

    In addition to these accomplishments, AFT is continuing to increase our capacity to reach more threatened areas across the country, encourage and support smart planning for agriculture, advance sound policies at all levels of government and work with family farmers to keep their land in farming for generations to come.

service areas

National

Self-reported by organization

Blog

The organization's Blog

Social Media

@americanfarmland

@farmland

@americanfarmland

Affiliations + Memberships

United Way Member Agency

Accreditations

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance

Videos

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

AMERICAN FARMLAND TRUST
Fiscal year: Oct 01-Sep 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

American Farmland Trust

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Knowledge Base Search
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE FOR FISCAL YEAR

Mr. Ralph Grossi

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Barton Thompson Jr.

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?