NYS Department of Agriculture


Ny State Agricultural Districts, particularly in counties Similar to Genesee the place farming Is essential to the native financial system, are vital geographic areas that allow farmers to work with their municipalities to biggest serve their communities.

That was a key level of a current webinar carried out by Jeff Kehoe and Kathleen Tylutki, farmland safety particularists with the NYS Dehalfment of Agriculture and Markets, Division of Land and Water Useful assets, Agricultural Protection Unit.

Agricultural Districts are outlined as regionally-initiated mechanisms for the safety and enhancement of agricultural land as a by way ofble half of the native and state economies.

“Again in 1971-72, the ag district program was developed To assist stem the tide of suburbanization shifting into the countryside,” Kehoe said. “It’s actually not a matter of the farmer and the dehalfment; there’s A lot extra to this. In Ny State, cities have native authority They typically have The power To regulate what occurs Inside their metropolis and jurisdiction.”

In 2020, There have been 165 Agricultural Districts in 53 counties in Ny, consisting of 26,227 farms and accounting for 9,149,836 acres.

“It’s A very worthwhile program and Yearly We now have been rising,” Kehoe reported. “And in mild of current events, hopefully We’ll see More and more extra properties enroll Inside the ag district To raised accommodate agriculture And permit farmers to scale up their operations with out An extreme quantity of scrutiny from the metropolis.”

In Genesee County, Based mostly on Planning Director Felipe Oltramari, there are 4 ag districts, overlaying 6,200 parcels and 203,000 acres.

“The Quantity of acres is about two-thirds of The complete farmland Inside the county,” Oltramari said.

The Genesee County districts are as follows (see map under):

District 1 (inexperienced) – Darien, Alexander, Bethany and a Little bit of Pembroke, Bataby way of and Stafford.

District 2 (blue) – Alabama, Oakfield, Elba and northern parts of Pembroke And metropolis of Bataby way of.

District 3 (aquamarine) – Le Roy, Pavilion and parts of Stafford and Bergen.

District 4 (purple) – Bergen, Byron and small parts of Elba, Stafford and Le Roy.

Oltramari said enrollment into an ag district is free and voluntary, and that particular person district considers happen every eight years from the district’s creation date.

“This course of is beneathtaken on behalf of the Genesee County Legislature by the County Dehalfment of Planning,” he said. “All by way of consider, landpersonalers Contained in the district boundaries might enroll or withdraw property from the district. Solely complete parcels Might Even be included or excluded.”

Kehoe said that “The power of this program is given to the counties as a Outcome of native (metropolis, village) authorities has Tons administration over what occurs Inside their cities.”

“In case You are a farm operation – which is a technical definition in our regulation – and your parcel is enrolled Inside the agricultural district, the circumstances are that it’s modified,” he said. “Your native regulations are modified Do You’d like to’re a farm operation enrolled in an ag district.

“That furtherly Signifies That you merely Want to Adjust to all native regulations and permits and purposes and All of the native course ofes, however, Everytime you’re Inside the ag district, the metropolis Is truly on discover to streamline or facilitate your purposes, reduce any costs and, hopefully, work with you to be as well timed as potential and least burdensome as potential.”

Agricultural Districts are overseen by a county’s Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board – an 11-member committee beneath the course of the county legislature. It is tasked with advising the legislature in problems Referring to institution, modification, continuation, or termination of agricultural districts.

The AFPB furtherly factors ideas to the legislature Relating to the Agricultural District Annual Enrollment and Smart Progress Plan revisions.

“It’s A particular diploma Of presidency that has oversight And might weigh in on ag factors,” Kehoe said.

In Genesee County, current AFPB members are Donn Branton, Chairperson, Farmer; Janice Beglinger, Agriculture Outrevery Educator Cornell Cooperative Extension; Steven Boldt, Farmer; Kevin Andrews, Director Exact Property Tax Providers; Christian Yunker, County Legislator.

Also, Marcia Hirsch, Agri-Enterprise; LuAnne McKenzie, Farmer; Dennis Passists, Soil & Water Conservation District Chairperson; Janette Veazey-Submit, Farmer; Tim Welch, Soil & Water Conservation Technician, and Oltramari.

The AFPB, per Agriculture and Markets Law 25AA 302(c), shall render professional suggestion to the county legislature Referring to the by way ofbility of lands to be enrolled Inside the agricultural district, collectively with suggestion as to The character of farming and the relation of farming in such space to the county as A complete.

Oltramari said particular ideas could pertain to The proper placement Of hearth hydrants and water strains to not adversely have an effect on farm operations, and the periodic considers of the district itself.

Kehoe said that Right To Farm Legal guidelines current further safety for farmers, and Are out there three types:

  • Agriculture Districts Law, Article 25AA, Part 308;
  • County regulations that enact public coverage assistive of agriculture;
  • Local regulations that typically assist agriculture and Article 25AA and, typically, make the most of the services of an ag mediation panel and/or require A press launch on constructing permits.

In accordance to Part 308, The Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets Is permitted to problem opinions regarding whether or not sure agricultural applys are sound. Any apply That is decided to be sound Does not recurrent A private nuisance when an movement is launched. In a nuisance go well with the place a farming apply Is set to be sound, this section ensures thOn the plaintiff will incur any costs and fullly different funds associated to the protection. This section protects farmers from paying pricey authorized costs to defend their operations in the direction of frivolous nuisance movements.

Part 305-A of the Agriculture Districts Law “protects farmers in the direction of native regulations that unreasonably prohibit farm operations located within an agricultural district,” Tylutki said.

This section of the regulation Requires coordination of native planning and land use choice-making with the agricultural districts program, and ensures that native zoning, full plans and land use plans Will not unreasonably prohibit or regulate farm operations within an agricultural district till There is a menace to public well being or safety.

Tylutki said the keys for legitimate objections to native regulation infringement are thOn the parcel is enrolled in an ag district, It is the state of affairs of a respectable farm operation, and thOn the farmer has exhausted all native administrative cures earlier than interesting to the NYS Dehalfment of Agriculture and Markets.

“Apply for it (safety standing), get the denial After which the Dehalfment (of Agriculture) has one factor to react to,” she said. “So, then we Even have A strong denial to say to the metropolis What’s being unaffordable in consulting Together with your county AFPB and fullly different native assets.”

She famous that an ordinance might seem affordable in an abstract, However it Might be unreasonably prohibitive or regulate A particular farmer. All referrals are considerd on a case-by-case basis.

Tylutki furtherly spoke about farm stands and comparable retail movements on ag district operations.

The rule of thumb for these ventures is that A minimal of 51 Percent of the agricultural crops, livestock and livestock merchandise purchased, on an annual basis, Have to be from the farm’s personal manufacturing. Furtherextra, the exercise Have to be used as An factor of the direct advertising method of the farm operation and The primary objective of the exercise Have to be to promote the farm’s merchandise/services, To not Carry out a leisure use of the land.

Oltramari said that A critical event is the retail retailer and Group Supported Agriculture Industry at Porter Farms in Elba,

“They only opened a retail retailer They typically have had the CSA for pretty A the placeas,” he said, explaining that a CSA permits residents To buy a membership and acquire a weekly bag of produce from the farm.

“In an ag district, the farm is permitted To Do this by way of The biggest-to-farm safetys,” Oltramari said. “That Is analogous as wind or photo voltaic Getting used to offset utility prices of the farm. It furtherly protects farmers in the direction of nuisance authorized obligation As prolonged Since the farmer is following The mannequin new York State ag district ideas.”


Additional assets on Agricultural Districts and associated subjects Might be found On The subsequent:

Agricultural Worth Evaluation Program, Dehalfment of Taxation and Finance
Jeremy Kergel [e-mail protected]

Building Requirements and Codes, Dehalfment of State:

Local Government Providers, Dehalfment of State

Farm Brewery/ Cidery/ Wineries and so on. State Liquor Authority

Industrial Scale Solar Arrays: NYS Solar Guidebook

Agricultural District Mapping Program, Cornell College IRIS (Institute for Useful resource Information Sciences)
Diane Ayers [e-mail protected]

Publication: Planning for Agriculture