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Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Agriculture

Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan In general, landowners possess a variety of rights to their property, including the rights to use water resources, harvest timber or develop the property consistent with local regulations. Some or all of these rights can be transferred or sold to another person. PDR programs enable landowners to separate and sell their right to develop land from their other property rights. In New York state, participating farmers are typically offered the difference between the restricted value of the land and the fair market value of the land. A permanent conservation easement is recorded in the land records binding all future owners. The land remains in private ownership and on the tax rolls. In New York, PDR was first funded in 1996. From 1996 to 1999, three rounds of farmland protection grants were awarded to counties and towns throughout New York, totaling nearly $16 million. Funds for PDR are allocated from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund and the open space account of the Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act. Grants have been awarded to communities across the state. Since the program’s inception, competition for the state’s limited funds has been intense. Eight applicants received $3.7 million in grants in the first round and eleven applicants received approximately $4.5 million in the second round. In each round, grant requests far exceeded the available funding. For example, in the third round in 1998, 12 applicants received grants of $7.7 million in response to requests that totaled more than $40 million. Based on widespread interest in this program around the state, funding requests are expected to continue to increase. State PDR Program Selection Criteria Priority is given to projects that: Preserve viable agricultural land Are in areas facing significant development pressure Serve as buffers for a significant natural public resource Additional criteria are: Number of acres preserved Soil quality Percentage of total farm acreage available for agricultural production Proximity to other conserved farms Level of farm management demonstrated by current landowner Likelihood of the property’s succession as a farm if ownership changes PDR programs have become increasingly popular with farmers. Despite the recent allocation of state grants, however, current funding levels have not been sufficient to meet the growing demand for agricultural conservation easements. In the future, additional state funding will be needed to help New York communities protect their farmland from development and keep productive land in agricultural use. Columbia, MD 11

Genesee County, New York COUNTY AGRICULTURAL AND FARMLAND PROTECTION BOARDS In 1992, the Agricultural Protection Act reconstituted the former agricultural district advisory committees as county agricultural and farmland protection boards (AFPBs). To date, AFPBs have been formed in 53 of New York’s 57 counties. Agricultural and farmland protection boards, established by the county legislative body, should consist of 11 members. This includes the chair of the county soil and water conservation district’s board of directors, a member of the county legislative body, a representative of the county cooperative extension, the county planning director and the county director of real property services. In addition, the board must contain at least four active farmers and an agribusiness representative (these members must reside within the county). A representative from a land preservation organization may also be on the board. County agricultural and farmland protection boards are authorized to: Advise the county legislative body about agricultural districts Review notice-of-intent filings Make recommendations about proposed actions involving government acquisitions of farmland in agricultural districts Prepare and update county agricultural and farmland protection plans Request review of state agency regulations that affect farm operations within an agricultural district Review and endorse applications for New York PDR funds These responsibilities provide the opportunity for AFPBs to become active partners with Agriculture & Markets in influencing state and local policy on agricultural and farmland protection issues. ADVISORY COUNCIL ON AGRICULTURE The Advisory Council on Agriculture (ACA) is appointed by the governor and authorized to make recommendations on state government plans, policies and programs affecting agriculture. This includes agricultural districts, agricultural assessment values and land use issues. The ACA consists of 11 members selected for their expertise. At least five members are operators of commercial farm enterprises; at least two are local government officials. The rest represent agricultural businesses or institutions. The ACA also invites participation by the chair of the state soil and water conservation committee and the dean of the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. The 1992 Agricultural Protection Act authorized two studies by the ACA. One addressed rightto-farm issues and the other addressed farm property taxes. The right-to-farm report is currently used by Agriculture & Markets to guide its sound agricultural practice determinations. The 12 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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    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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