Register Now! AFT's Albany No Farms No Food Rally

Join the growing movement and register for the American Farmland Trust's No Farms No Food Rally, February 15, at the State Capitol, in Albany. Unite with farmers, local foods advocates, community leaders and others to tell Governor Cuomo and the state legislature how much we care about local farms and food!
Meet in person with our legislators and urge them to support funding and legislation to:
·        Strengthen New York’s Farm & Food Economy
·        Protect Farmland & the Environment
·        Increase Access to Locally Grown Food
A local foods lunch will be served!
Bus transportation roundtrip from New York City to Albany is available!
·        The bus will leave NYC at the corner of Union Square West & 16th Street, in front of the coffee shop promptly at 7:00 am
·        Wi-fi will be available on the bus
·        The bus will leave Albany at 4:00 pm and return to NYC around 7:00 pm
Please help us spread the word by forwarding this email to your contact lists!
Top Ten Ways the State of New York Can Make a Difference:
1.                  Sustain $134 million for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), including $12 million for the Farmland Protection Program and $13 million for the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Program.  Adopt other measures to increase EPF funding such as an increased allocation of revenue from the state’s Real Estate Transfer tax, authorizing use of bonding by the Environmental Facilities Corporation or enactment of S5403/A7137 (see below). 
2.                  Restore funding for the New York Farm Viability Institute to $1.2 million and sustain proposed funding for programs traditionally funded through the Department of Agriculture and Markets’ budget that aid farmers with marketing, business development and applied research.
3.                  Increase funding for the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program beyond the $29.7 million proposed in the 2012-13 Executive Budget Proposal.
4.                  Support an expansion of the New York State Linked Deposit Program administered by the Empire State Development Corporation to all farmers in New York.
5.                  Continue expansion of NY Fresh Connect program to enhance availability of Fresh Checks incentive options and encourage the use of food stamp benefits at local farmers markets.
6.                  Support S 05078 (Valesky) /A 7449-A (Magee)
Description:  Allows a farm brewer to bottle and sell their products on or off premises and in wholesale or retail markets. Also requires farm brewers to use an escalating percentage of hops grown in New York.  
7.                         Support S 5403-A (Grisanti)/A 7137-A (Latimer)
Description:  Increases funds to the Environmental Protection Fund as a result of the Returnable Beverage Container Law, commonly known as The Bottle Bill, beginning in fiscal year 2013-14, without increasing any tax and without changing requirements for the beverage container deposit refund system.
8.                         Support A1025 (Ortiz) / S627 (Klein)
Description: Authorizes loans, loan guarantees and grants by the Empire State Development Corporation to businesses, industrial development agencies, and others to facilitate construction, expansion, and rehabilitation of wholesale regional farmers markets.
9.                  Support S.4855 (Montgomery) /A.7515 (Lifton)
Description: Adds one member to the state procurement council from a not-for-profit, New York based organization representing agricultural interests of the state.
10.              Support S.2468 (Libous) / A8038 (Peoples) Buy From the Backyard Act
Description: Requires the Office of General Services and other state agencies to buy 20% of their food from New York State food producers and/or processors. The Commissioner of Agriculture shall identify and promote New York available food products.