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Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Genesee

Genesee County: Agricultural Development Plan Cost Considerations: This recommendation would require high levels of in-house staffing and a program budget of approximately $10,000. Consideration should be given to grant resources and program sponsorships. Responsibility: CCE and the Chamber of Commerce. Recommendation 2: Conduct Advanced Training in Economic Development and Land-Use Planning Policy makers and public employees throughout the County and towns have varying levels of understanding about economic development and land-use. Prior to seeking significant, long-term program support for Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan, it is recommended that a concerted effort to educate local leaders be undertaken. Specifically, the study team recommends conducting a one day to one and half day training seminar using subject specialists to develop a regional understanding of the concepts embodied in this report. Priority Level 1: Immediate action in year 1. Cost Considerations: This recommendation would require moderate levels of in-house staffing to organize the conference and a program budget of approximately $6,000. Consideration should be given to grant resources and program sponsorships. Responsibility: Department of Planning, CCE, and IDA. Recommendation 3: Develop and Promote Public Information Packets Continued regional development is increasing the potential for land-use conflicts. Education is considered to be the best way to minimize these conflicts. It is recommended that the County develop web based information packets and public service announcements to educate the general public about agricultural practices and the importance of agriculture to the community. Conversely, farmers should be educated about the needs of the non-farm public. Public Service Announcement’s should be aired during critical times of the agricultural cycle in the County and the web based information packets should be made available to the general public, specifically to realestate agents and welcome wagons who may act as a first point of contact with new residents. The first information packet developed should address key elements of the Cost of Community Services Study and Economic Impact Study. Priority Level 1: Immediate action in year 1. Cost Considerations: This recommendation would require high levels of in-house staffing during development and a program budget of approximately $5,000. Consideration should be given to grant resources. Responsibility: CCE, Department of Planning, and the Chamber of Commerce. Recommendation 4: Create a Neighbor Relations Program Conflicting land-uses are becoming a larger issue as new residents move in next to farming operations, especially animal operations. The County should review the neighbor relations program created in the Town of Leroy and adapt elements for a county-wide program. In addition, the County should create a community relations packet for farmers that describes best management strategies for dealing and communicating with non-agricultural neighbors. Copyright©, 2001: Agricultural & Community Development Services, Inc, Columbia, MD 25

Genesee County: Agricultural Development Plan Priority Level 1: Immediate and ongoing. Cost Considerations: This recommendation would require moderate levels of in-house staffing and a budget of approximately $5,000 for the development and printing of informational packages. Responsibility: CCE and Department of Planning. Recommendation 5: Develop an Agricultural Highlights Video Series As Genesee County becomes less agrarian and more transient, it will become increasingly more important to educate residents about the importance and diversity of local agriculture. It is also important to notify local residents about direct marketing activities and novel features of local farms. It is recommended that the County develop a series of short video presentations that focus on the unique aspects of Genesee County agriculture. The video series should be made available through the Cornell website, as well as local cable television and school districts. Priority Level 3: Begin program in year 3 through 5. Cost Considerations: This recommendation would require moderate levels of inhouse staffing for startup and an annual budget of approximately $5,000 for video development. Responsibility: CCE and the public schools. REGULATION / LEGISLATION Ten-Year Objective Develop a methodology to assist farmers in dealing with complex regulatory structures and advocate for legislation that support agricultural development. The County also recognizes that regulatory compliance in agriculture is complex and many times adversarial. Federal, state and local laws frequently regulate operations with enforcement in the hands of multiple agencies. The County would work with partner agencies to streamline these processes and assist farmers in navigating regulations and advocating for change. Five-Year Action Plan Recommendation 1: Create a Regulatory Compliance Bulletin Farms are highly regulated small businesses that frequently lack the resources to know and/or to understand the regulatory requirements they face. In light of this condition, work should begin to create a regulatory compliance bulletin that describes all federal, state, and local regulations affecting farmers at large. Furthermore, the bulletin should list contact information for key agencies and advocates. The bulletin should be made available online as well as in print. Priority Level 1: Immediate and ongoing. Copyright©, 2001: Agricultural & Community Development Services, Inc, Columbia, MD 26

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