Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming

Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming is an agricultural organization in the Finger Lakes Region of NY that creates pathways for people to begin farming and expand their ability to grow food. Our vision is to cultivate an equitable and sustainable food system. We prioritize our services for small beginning farmers, farmers of color, refugees and growers from underrepresented groups. Our core services include sustainable farming workshops that teach techniques to regenerate soils, limit chemical inputs, reduce water use, bolster biodiversity, and increase access to healthy foods. The Groundswell Incubator Farm in Ithaca provides affordable farmland, equipment, tools, and training to 25+ beginning organic farmers. Our Farming for Justice Webinar Series explores food justice topics from cooperative land tenure to beekeeping as a social justice tool. In 2021, we launched a new Farmer Training Program, a compensated intensive where a cohort of aspiring famers of color rotate to learn on different Tompkins County-based farms. 

Aligned with the FNG-NY Regional Navigator program efforts, creating/facilitating farmland access is a key Groundswell goal as part of our organizational mission to train new farmers and strengthen the local food economy. Given US historical land theft and slavery, paired with the present day corporate agricultural structure and disproportionately low access to land and resources for black and brown people, it is our strategic priority to support farmers of color in accessing farmland. Currently, we provide technical support for farmers seeking farmland, offer beginning farmer training programming, and are an active member of the Finger Lakes Land Access, Reparations, and Reconciliations Working Group. 

Regions Served

Central, Cortland County, Onondaga County, Cayuga County, Finger Lakes, Seneca County, Southern Tier, Schuyler County, Tioga County, Tompkins County

Ag Updates

Leslie Hamilton, Triple H Farms, Geneseo, NY October 15 2018Photo essay for the American Farmland Trust and Great Lakes Protection Fund illustrating farms and landowners working together to conserve the land and resources.

The Farmland Owner Hub is here!

Are you a landowner looking to support farmland preservation by making your land available to farmers? Maybe you want to learn more about how you can steward your farmland with sustainable practices in mind? Or maybe you have goals you’d like to achieve that ensures the future of your farm? Check out the Farmland Owner Hub to explore various topics.

Visit the Hub 

Cornelle Cooperative Extension NY Logo

2024 New York Cash Rent Survey

We get asked all the time what average rental rates are for a county or region! Cornell Cooperative Extension is working to survey farmers, farmland landowners, and agribusiness professionals to create an up-to-date snapshot of farmland rental rates and custom harvest fees. Your response to this survey will help us to provide the most accurate information! 

Survey Information Online Survey Link