OUTSTANDING IN HER FIELD: Niagara County’s plan for agriculture and farmland protection – Lockport Union-Sun & Journal


What’s one crop that a farmer can On A daily basis make a revenue on? Homes. Sadly, doing that takes land out of manufacturing. Since no extra land Might be produced, Which will be A drawback. So how Can we Make constructive that land is shielded for agricultural use?

The quick reply is: Put it in an ag district. In 1971, Ny State first adopted legal guidelines To shield land used for farming. Every county was tasked with creating an Agricultural and Farmland Safety Board. Districts have been created and land that was used for agriculture was positioned in a district To shield it. Right now, Niagara County has seven such districts They typically’re considered every eight yrs.

Who serves on such a board? The regulation states That every board should Include 11 members, 4 of whom recurrent lively farms. The completely differents embrace a recurrentative of agribusiness, a member of a land preservation group, the county Soil and Water Conservation District chairperson, a county legislator, a county cooperative extension agent, the county planning director and the county director of exact property tax providers.

Although the districts Want to be considered every eight yrs, the board will meet To imagine about modifications to the district. Every county chooses an annual 30-day interval when additions Might be thought-about. Land can solely be eliminated By way of the eight-yr consider. Both method, Tright here is a system of checks and balances with public hearings and completely different notices. The primary focus of the board, as its identify implies, is shielding the land.

To that finish, Niagara County has an Agricultural and Farmland Safety Plan. Up So far in 2019, members Of numerous stakeholder teams have been embraced in its creation. Farmers have been interviewed and accomplished surveys. Consumers have been surveyed. Excursions have been taken of many farm operations and enter was requested On the annual county truthful.

The report concluded that “Agriculture is Definitely one of Niagara County’s most important financial enchancment sectors. Greater than 760 farms in Niagara County generate a market worth of extra than $122 million in gross sales and make use of roughly 1,000 people. Its Prime extreme quality soils And comparatively common Upstate local climate alongside Lake Ontario assist to make it A pair of of the productive agricultural areas in Ny State”

In creating the plan, the group Checked out 4 primary areas: (1) manufacturing agriculture; (2) agritourism And native and regional meals markets; (3) attracting new farmers and retaining current ones; and (4) advertising and education. Their said imaginative and prescient is: “Agriculture is a key factor of Niagara County’s financial system and future financial enchancment actions; Safety of agricultural and farmland Is important to retain alternatives for financial enchancment and To current alternatives for jobs; and Promotion of current agricultural actions and future alternatives in agriculture will facilitate The Prolonged time period viability of Agriculture in Niagara County.”

The plan does embrace many recommfinishations and potential tasks. As a lot as I loved studying it and would Want to incorporate extra right here, the report is 92 pages long! So Instead, I’ll mirror on completely different elements Finally. In case You are too impatient And wish to study The complete report, right here’s The internet website: http://cceniagaracounty.org/agriculture/niagara-agriculture-plan.

Final month I gave you a quiz about Niagara County agriculture presently. This month We now have the plan for The Prolonged time period. In any case, It Does not matter what our position in life, the farmer feeds us all.

Margo Sue Bittner, a.k.a. Aggie Tradition, has been involved in Niagara County agriculture for 40 yrs. She’s had expertise in dairy farming, fruit manufacturing and wine agri-tourism. Ask her any question about native agriculture and if she doesn’t know The reply herself, she is Aware of who to get it from. E-mail [email protected]


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