Why Farmers Are Overpriced in the Hudson Valley

But what they found instead were newcomers, mostly from the city, who wanted a storybook version of a farm, minus the manure and noise, and a version that matched their own agendas and schedules, Ms Morley said. Many of them suggested a “one-year trial” – an incredibly short timeframe for a business like theirs – and seemed to have a low appreciation for the sights, sounds and smells of farming.

“A good pasture-based livestock operation is not like a well-mowed lawn, and that was a sticking point for many landowners we spoke to,” Ms. Morley said. “Or we would hear, ‘I want to see goats in the pasture.’ But the thing is, it’s hard to make money raising goats.One of the places they visited included a barn which the owner said could be used for both animal housing and organize wedding receptions, depending on the season.

Sophie Ackoff, Executive Director of the National Coalition of Young Farmers, a non-profit organization that supports the interests of beginning farmers, is no stranger to the issue. “We’ve seen renewed interest from non-farmer buyers in the Hudson Valley,” she said, adding that these bidders often have a buyer’s advantage over newbie farmers. This includes access to faster loan options, while beginning farmers largely depend on slow loans through the United States Department of Agriculture.

Access to affordable farmland is a major challenge nationwide, especially for people of color, who today make up 2% of farmland owners. To address this, the coalition launched the One Million Acres for the Future campaign, which calls on Congress to invest $2.5 billion in the 2023 Farm Bill to facilitate equitable access to land.

According to Holly Rippon-Butler, director of the coalition’s land campaign, farmland near cities is particularly desirable for small livestock and fruit and vegetable growers, due to green markets and restaurants in the area. close farm to table. Competition is worst in “places where there is a lot of money and the farmland is of high quality and aesthetically appealing.”

The Hudson Valley tops the list of areas where beginning farmers have the hardest time getting a foothold, along with the outskirts of Atlanta and Austin, Texas, the Bay Area in California, and parts of Washington State.

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