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Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

APPENDIX C: AGRICULTURAL

APPENDIX C: AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CASE STUDY SUMMARIES Loudon County Virginia Agricultural Development Program Loudoun County Virginia, one of the fastest growing counties in the country, has had an agricultural development program for 10 years. The Loudoun County Agricultural Development Program (ADP)was created to foster development of higher value agriculture. The goal of the program is to increase the value of traditional agricultural products and increase the diversity and marketability of non-traditional agricultural products. The ADP has operated under the guiding principles of several strategic plans. Farming methods identified as areas of potential growth and opportunity are the production of beef, hay, Christmas trees, wine grapes, nursery grown trees,fruits and vegetables. In addition, biotechnology was identified as an area of growth and opportunity. Loudoun’s close proximity to Washington makes it an ideal location for research and development initiatives as well as demonstration sites. The greatest percentage of program participants to date has been in the area of small farms. The participation of large farms is low and they have just begun supporting other agribusinesses. Policy work, agritourism programs, advice to farmers, publications and the development of a farmers market system are the key program areas of the ADP. Production of marketing guides, listings of specialty producers, spring and fall farm tours and a website www.rural-loudounstate.va.us are the primary tools of the program and have proven very successful. Recent full color glossy publications include Spring Farm Tour and Product Guide 2000, Loudoun Valleys Color Farm Tour for this fall and The Loudoun Wine Trail. The two newest programs are the farmland viability program and the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Program. Loudoun County’s program measures its success by surveying farm participants and visitors and the increase in land usage. The components of a “Purchase of Development Rights” (PDR) Program that builds on existing Virginia enabling legislation, permitting the creation of Service Districts for this purpose, was just recently developed by a local citizen group titled “Service Districts and Purchase of Development Rights”. As a result of this work, the Agricultural Development Program has just recently begun implementing the PDR program. The role of agriculture in the County in the next 10 years is its base land use of 185,000 acres. The Agriculture Development Program conducts 5 major events throughout the year for educating and increasing the awareness of the both the industry and the non-ag citizens. Loudoun County has key strengths and opportunities for agriculture due to its proximity to a vast consumer market, excellent soils and the wealth of its farmers. The greatest challenge to the local industry is the apathy by the landowners. Contact: Lou Nichols, Agricultural Development Officer (703) 777-0428 Copyright©, 2000: Agricultural & Community Development Services, Inc, Columbia MD 2

APPENDIX C: AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CASE STUDY SUMMARIES Oneida County New York Agricultural Development Program Oneida County has had an Agricultural Development Program for two years. However, the current Agricultural Development Program Officer has been in place just two months. Oneida County ranks 7 th in milk production and 11 th in overall agricultural production in the state, generating over $88 million annually. There are currently over 1100 farming operations active in the county, which ranks 4 th in the state. Agriculture remains diversified with the dairy industry comprising two-thirds of total output with fruits, vegetable, and greenhouse/nursery comprising most of the remaining third. Agriculture remains a vital component of Oneida’s local economy. It is an industry that brings money into the county by exporting their agricultural products to the urban markets. Oneida’s close proximity to large population centers is a major advantage that provides many marketing opportunities. In addition, their high land resource capacity combined with low land costs provide additional opportunities for the growers. The Agricultural Development Program is focusing on farm propagation, food processing and manufacturing for enhancing the agricultural industry. For example, meat packing use to be a big industry in the state, now 80% leaves the state. The Agricultural Development Officer is looking at market opportunities, for example the niche ethnic markets from New York City to Detroit, for rekindling meat packing in the state. The state of New York has established a grant program that supports the diversity of farm operations. It is an application process whereby the state supports and funds new market incentives based on sound business plans. The agriculture development program has worked out a program that provides local agricultural products to the state prison system. The state has centralized cooking facilities for their prison system. Just recently, the agriculture program officer put together 12,000 dozen ears of corn delivered to the state prison system. The institutional markets provide a great market outlet, however, the downside is that they shop for price. The agriculture development program is at ground zero, new mechanisms have been put into place, now the action strategies have begun. Their website is www.cce.cornell.edu/oneida. Contact: Marty Broccoli Agricultural Development Officer (315) 736-3394 Copyright©, 2000: Agricultural & Community Development Services, Inc, Columbia MD 3

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