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Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Agriculture

Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan Despite the ambitious tone of their title, right-to-farm laws are not meant to shield farmers from all legal disputes with neighbors. However, they assert that a person who voluntarily moves into the vicinity of the nuisance activity (which is interfering with his or her enjoyment of the property) has no right to expect that a court would restrict such an activity. The Agricultural Districts Law now provides five types of right-to-farm protections for farm businesses: 1) Definition of Agriculture–Requires the commissioner of New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets to determine whether land uses are agricultural in nature. 2) Local Ordinance Provision–Provides protection against laws that unreasonably regulate farm operations in agricultural districts. 3) Notice of Intent–Requires analysis of proposed public projects that may impact farms in agricultural districts. 4) Sound Agricultural Practice Determinations–Offer limited protection from private nuisance claims. 5) Disclosure Notices–Inform property buyers about farming practices before they purchase property in an agricultural district. Many notice-of-intent filings concern proposals to extend water and sewer lines into farming areas. These filings are so common that Agriculture & Markets has developed guidelines for water and sewer transmission mains located wholly or partially within an agricultural district. Three of the four guidelines relate to construction. They strive to minimize the disruption of farm enterprises, address soil compaction and erosion, and provide repair for any damaged agricultural drainage systems. The fourth guideline recommends that future water and sewer service be provided only to agricultural structures. AGRICULTURAL AND FARMLAND PROTECTION PROGRAM New York state’s Agricultural and Farmland Protection Program was enacted in 1992 as part of the Agricultural Protection Act. The program encourages counties and towns to work with farmers to promote local initiatives that help maintain the economic vitality of agriculture and protect the industry’s land base. Under this program, funds are available for counties to develop agricultural and farmland protection plans. Since 1994, almost 40 counties have received planning grants through the state’s Environmental Protection Fund to develop such plans. In 1996, the state amended Article 25–AAA to provide counties that have approved plans, or eligible municipalities, with implementation grants to purchase development rights to farmland. Columbia, MD 9

Genesee County, New York Planning Grants County agricultural and farmland protection boards, in conjunction with local soil and water conservation districts and the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS), develop agricultural and farmland protection plans. These plans locate important county farmland, analyze the agricultural and environmental value of such farmland and identify threats to its continued agricultural use. They also describe activities, programs and strategies that will help keep the land in agriculture. Completed agricultural and farmland protection plans, while tailored to the specific concerns of their region, have addressed four critical issues: Agricultural viability and profitability–For agriculture to succeed, it must be profitable. Agricultural land use and farmland protection–Maintaining the land base for agriculture is crucial to its success as an industry. Agricultural awareness and public education–Public support for agriculture depends on educational efforts that stress its importance. Municipal land use–Review of local laws, ordinances, regulations and comprehensive plans can help identify potential conflicts with agriculture. Strategic agricultural and farmland protection plans are only the beginning of a continually evolving process. To ensure their greatest success, plans must be evaluated periodically and revised as needed. They also will not achieve their objectives unless the recommendations they make are enacted. Responsibility and oversight for implementation efforts must be assigned. In addition, future actions should be prioritized in order to focus efforts once the plan has been adopted. Funding sources for implementation also need to be identified and obtained. Some implementation efforts, such as purchasing development rights, can make use of state farmland protection grants. Other initiatives, such as agricultural economic development, likely will require local funding sources as long as state funds are not available for that purpose. Still other initiatives may serve as catalysts for new statewide or regional programs or may create new partnerships between public and private sectors. Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Grants In 1996, the New York State Legislature provided eligible municipalities that have approved agricultural and farmland protection plans with implementation grants to purchase development rights (PDR) on farmland. PDR is a voluntary farmland protection technique that pays farmland owners for permanently protecting the land for agriculture. 10 Agriculture and Community Development Services, Inc.

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    Table of Contents Introduction 2 Me

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    Methods The methods used to prepare

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    Summary (continued) As Genesee Coun

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    Genesee County Gross Farm Sales Reb

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    Dairy and Cattle Sales Fuel Growth

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    Genesee County Farm Expenses Grow M

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    Farm Income Strength Keeps Farmers

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    Real Farm Real Estate Values Slide

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    Farm Cropland Falls Modestly in Gen

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    Dairy Farm Numbers Plummet. Number

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    Dairy Farm Size Expands in Genesee

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    Traditional Crops - Harvested Acrea

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    Specialty Crops - A Few Crops Domin

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    Specialty Crops - Greenhouse Produc

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    Number of Firms 30 25 20 15 10 Grow

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    Genesee County Farming Sectors’ O

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    Farming Sector Employment for Genes

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    Farm Output Multipliers for Genesee

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    Expenditures by the Vegetable Farm

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    Appendix: IMPLAN Analysis and Resul

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    Genesee County: Agricultural Develo

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    APPENDIX B: Project Contact List Ma

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    APPENDIX C: AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMEN

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    APPENDIX D: INDUSTRY PRACTICES Dair

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    APPENDIX D: INDUSTRY PRACTICES •

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    Genesee County: Town of Byron Cost

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    Genesee County: Town of Byron Cost

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    Genesee County: Town of Byron Cost

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    Genesee County: Town of Byron Cost

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    Fire District 1 46,500.00 41,850.00

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    EMPLOYEES State Retirement 500.00 7

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    Town of Byron Revenues 2000 Revenue

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    APPENDIX C: SWOT ANALYSIS Stable La

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    Sweetland Road Sumner Road Orleans

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    #· W E S Source: Genessee County P

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    Tonawanda Indian Reservation 5.3% A

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    Harlow Road Simonds Road Bethany Ce

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