COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The 20-acre Lansing Farm in Colonie has been feeding the Capital Region since 1788, and a new conservation easement guarantees that it will continue to do so for generations.
“My family has been farming these soils since 1788. It is more than just a way to make a living. It is our way of life,” said Al Lansing, who operates the farm. It originally covered a whopping 1000 acres, and was passed down through the Lansing family for eight generations. “We are very fortunate that the value of these glacial soils and the quality of the fruits and vegetables they produce were recognized during our application review,” he said.
Lansing Farm faced increasing financial pressure in recent years to turn the land over for development. Lansing worked with advocacy groups the Mohawk Hudson land Conservancy (MHLC), Equity Trust, and Scenic Hudson to permanently protect the farmland. The easement not only prevents development, but it includes a “preemptive purchase right,” letting MHLC control who can use or purchase the land. The clause ensures the land remains productive farmland and that it can only be sold to working farmers at its agricultural value.
“Keeping farmland affordable for farmers is essential to their ability to continue to grow food for their communities, and we’re delighted to have achieved just that for this important piece of farmland,” said Jim Oldham, Equity Trust Executive Director.
Lansing Farm is considered a community asset, a valuable local food resource that contributes to the larger Hudson Valley Foodshed from just north of the farm south to New York City. “This land connects so many people in the Capital Region to fresh food as well as to the Hudson Valley’s agricultural heritage. The fact that neighbors on the Friends of Lansing Farm supported its protection attests to the farm’s importance to the community,” said Steve Rosenberg, executive director of the Scenic Hudson Land Trust.
After receiving a Farmland Protection Implementation Grant from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and an influx of community support, the farm can now continue hosting over 100 community-supported agriculture members each year and contributing to regional food pantries.
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball said, “New York State’s farms are all critical to our economy, our local food systems, and our way of life. It is so important that we continue to preserve and protect valuable farmland, like Lansing Farm, so that we can support the future of agriculture in New York State.”