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					Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives

Agricultural Improvement and Advancement Initiatives
Improvements and advancements to the agricultural industry can be made through numerous avenues. However, before improvements and advancements can be put forward a through understanding of the agricultural industry in the county is necessary. The text of this Agricultural Development Plan so far has presented a history of agriculture in the county, a review of what the current industry consists of, and has also listed a number of challenges to agriculture in the county. The next step is to address ways of improving the agricultural industry. A number of county activities are currently in place to assist the agricultural industry. It is imperative that these activities continue. Two specific programs are the State Agricultural District Program and the County Right-to-Farm Law. A brief summary of each program is listed below.

The Agricultural Districts Program
History and Description of the Agriculture Districts Program Sixteen different states in the U.S. have developed agricultural district programs. Although the programs vary widely, they typically allow farmers to form special areas where commercial agriculture is encouraged and protected. Participation by farmers is voluntary and in exchange for enrollment, farmers receive packages of benefits including such things as favorable tax treatment, right-to-farm protections and shielding from infrastructure financial assessments. Some states (e.g. Pennsylvania) also make it very difficult to extend public improvements into farm areas that could cause negative impacts on agriculture. St. Lawrence County has been active in the state agricultural districting program since its inception in the early 1970’s. An agricultural district is an area containing important agricultural land that is created through petition by farmers and officially designated by a County Legislature. Under provisions of the Agricultural Districts Law (NYS Agriculture and Markets Law Article 25AA of 1971) as amended, an agricultural district is comprised of 500 or more acres of reasonably contiguous, viable agricultural land. Districts are reviewed every eight years to determine the current extent of agricultural land in the area and to identify whether inclusions or exclusions to the district will be made.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives Article 25 AA of the New York Agriculture and Markets Law made differential assessment available to New York farmers and contained provisions that have since been incorporated into other agricultural district laws, including protection against unreasonable local regulations, special review of the use of eminent domain and a requirement that state agency policies support the continuation of farming in agricultural districts. In 1992, amendments to the New York law reconstituted and strengthened local agricultural advisory committees, added new right-to-farm protections and required local governments to recognize the intent of the Agricultural Districts Law when making local land use decisions." Other statutory provisions of the Agricultural and Markets Law also require coordination with the Agricultural Districts program. From the beginning, the Agriculture and Markets Law provided for agricultural assessment of land used for agricultural purposes within an Agricultural District. This was, and remains, designed to protect farmers from being overtaxed on the basis of development values that exceeded agricultural use values. The agricultural assessment has now also been made available to land not within an Agricultural District that is committed to agricultural use for a minimum of eight years. The Agricultural and Markets Law, too, establishes a statutory right-to-farm. It specifically provides that an agricultural practice on land within an agricultural district "shall not constitute a private nuisance" if the agricultural activity is deemed a sound agricultural practice by the State Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets. This protection also extends to land located outside of a District, if the land is subject to an agricultural assessment. The farmland protection within Districts remain generally stronger, however, due to notice and planning requirements. Indeed, the Law provides that "local governments shall not unreasonably restrict or regulate farm operations within agricultural districts when exercising their powers to enact or administer comprehensive plans and local land use laws, ordinances, rules and regulations unless it can be shown that the public health or safety is threatened." Strengths and Weaknesses of Agricultural District Programs Agricultural District programs offer several strengths as farmland protection tools. These include the following according to AFT and others:
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Agricultural District programs are very flexible; benefits and restrictions can be tailored to local conditions.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives
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Agricultural Districts help stabilize the land base at low public cost. Agricultural Districts provide multiple benefits to farmers, including tax relief, protection from local regulation and eligibility for purchase of development rights programs. These benefits help support the economics of farming. Agricultural Districts help create a critical mass of land to keep farming viable. Enrollment in Agricultural Districts is voluntary, making the programs popular with farmers. A landowner in an Agricultural District can take advantage of farmland protection techniques that would otherwise require agricultural zoning. Such zoning can impose strict restrictions on farmland and is not part of New York's Agricultural District Law, although individual communities can opt to pursue such options as part of their own programs.

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These strengths are accompanied by some drawbacks, however. AFT suggests these include:
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Sanctions for withdrawing land from agricultural districts may not be strong enough to discourage conversion. Limits on non-farm development may not prevent expansion of public services such as water and sewer lines into agricultural areas. New York State's Agricultural District Law, fortunately, does address this issue with exemption from special district levies based on frontage and specific planning and notice requirements. The benefits provided by Agricultural Districts are not always enough incentive for farmers to enroll. Owners must also pay penalties to remove themselves from a District prior to its eight-year term. The procedure for creating agricultural districts can be lengthy and complex.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives Agricultural District Trends in New York State New York State's Agricultural District program has become stronger over the 30 years since it was first adopted but the emphasis and values of the program have changed. It began as more of a tax saving tool but the primary incentives to enroll at present are farmland and right-to-farm protections, the tax benefits being available outside the boundaries of Agricultural Districts in recent years. Several specific observations can be drawn regarding the evolution of the program:
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The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets reports that "at the close of 1999, there were 371 Agricultural Districts in existence, comprised of approximately 22,035 farms and 8.47 million acres. Farmers participating in the agricultural assessment program save over $55 million in real property taxes annually." The number of Agricultural Districts dropped from 392 in 1998, reflecting a pattern of consolidation taking place across the State as counties rationalized their Districts for ease of administration. Some counties had as many as 25 Agricultural Districts at one point. Nonetheless, the acreage included in all districts was up 1.6% for the year and the number of farms included was also up 1.1%. The experience of various counties suggests efforts are being made to include smaller and more diverse farm enterprises. Also, increases in other farm sizes through farm consolidations and rentals have helped to maintain agricultural acreages. The Department's staff and Counsel also reported being engaged in 27 cases in 1999 involving the review of local ordinances that were considered by farmers to be unreasonably restrictive, up from 14 cases in 1998. This reflects the increasing emphasis of the Agricultural Districts program on right-to-farm and farmland protection activities. Farmers formerly skeptical of the program have recognized that joining Agricultural Districts is to their great advantage, especially in areas of growth and development where farm/neighbor conflicts have escalated in number. Protection from nuisance complaints and an acknowledgement of rights-to-farm have become very important in the more urbanized portions of the State and within developing areas of rural counties. The experience of New York State's largest agricultural producer (in dollar volume of sales) and one of the most developed counties with tremendous urban and environmental pressure is instructive about just how much Agricultural Districts can accomplish. Suffolk County states it "is clear that agricultural districts do not preserve

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives farmland but only temporarily protect it from development pressure. Agricultural districts are valuable in helping farmers to continue to farm through lower taxes and protection from many complaints and government regulations. In addition, the districts help bridge the gap to eventual permanent protection and preservation." This Long Island county has managed to reinvent its agricultural economy and grow the size of some of its Agricultural Districts but others have dropped in size under relentless urban development pressures. The saving grace has been Suffolk's massive effort to purchase development rights on farms using a combination of grants and local bond issues.
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This demonstrates both the value and the limits connected with the Agricultural District program. St. Lawrence County doesn't face this pressure and, therefore, Agricultural Districts will have much more utility for a much longer period of time, but other solutions could well be needed over the long-term, particularly if the North Country economy revives as hoped. The program will always have value as a protective device against nuisance lawsuits and other farmland intrusions, however.

At present, St. Lawrence County has two large agricultural districts that encompass approximately 583,000 acres in 26 towns. The remaining six towns in the county are located within the Adirondack Park, and agricultural lands that would benefit from agricultural district protection are minimal. Within these two districts are a number of physiographic regions, soil types and agricultural operations; however, the primary agricultural practice has been and continues to be dairy farming. The County Legislature continues to support the agricultural district program in the county.

The County Right-to-Farm Law
In June of 1999 The St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators formally adopted a countywide Right to Farm Local Law. The law declares “that farming and related agricultural businesses are an important industry in St. Lawrence County that provide a substantial contribution to the economy of the County, maintain open space, enhance the quality of life, promote environmental quality, and have a minimal demand upon services provided by local governments.” It also states that “it is the declared policy of the County to enhance, encourage and preserve the agricultural lands and practices within the county.” The general purpose of the law is to maintain and enhance the agricultural industry of the County and to promote the continuation of sound agricultural practices, the existence and

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives continued operation of farms, the retention and expansion of agricultural businesses, and new ways to resolve disputes concerning agricultural practices and farm operations. A copy of the Right-to-Farm Law can be found in its entirety in Appendix III. The law has specific sections on alternative resolutions of disputes, the determination of sound agricultural practices, and notification requirements for real estate buyers and prospective neighbors. The alternative resolution of disputes is a voluntary mediation program where Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board designees will act as a mediator between two parties that have a dispute over an agricultural operation or practice. The intent of the mediation program is to settle agricultural disputes before either party resorts to legal action. The Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board may also render sound agricultural practice determinations. Any person can submit a request to the Board for an opinion determining whether a specific agricultural practice is sound. The Board will make the determination based on a number of criteria that address health and safety, regulatory and agricultural operation issues. A full list of the criteria may be found in Section 4.4 of the Local Law. A section entitled “Notification of Real Estate Buyers and Prospective Neighbors” requires land holders and their agents to comply with Section 333-c of New York Real Property Law and Section 310 of Article 25AA of Agriculture and Markets Law. The cited sections require that before land is sold or presented for sale it must be disclosed that the land in question is within or near an agricultural district and that farming activities that cause noise, dust, smoke and odors may occur.

Specific Improvement Areas
As part of developing the County Agricultural Development Plan input was sought from the public on what could and should be done to improve the agricultural industry. From this public input St. Lawrence County has identified six different areas where improvements to the agricultural industry can be made. The six areas are: Cooperation; Agricultural Land Use Diversification; Education; Farm/Processing Equipment and Infrastructure; Marketing; and, Services.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives For each item a general goal and specific objectives are listed. The goals are intended to be multi-year in nature and reflect the basic policies in agriculture as they relate to advancement and improvement. Objectives spell out more specific areas that will be addressed in order to realize the stated goals. These policy statements are separate from those in the County Public Policy Guide of 1995 and are intended to augment those policies. Following the objectives is a list of specific implementation tasks that can be undertaken to realize the goals and objectives. Recommendations for addressing the challenges listed in the last chapter are addressed under the appropriate category.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives

Cooperation: Goal: Develop better cooperation between the agricultural community, the business community, government (federal, state, and local), the school boards and the general public to further agriculture in all facets of society in the County.

Objectives: 1.1 Create partnerships and alliances with schools, chambers of commerce, municipal boards and public service groups and the general public to share the agricultural experience. Implementation Tasks: ! Have Cornell Cooperative Extension work with the county school districts to develop a youth apprenticeship training program for high school students. Such a program would see youth gain first-hand knowledge and valuable work experience in careers pertaining to various agricultural fields through local internships.
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Develop a working relationship between the various agricultural support agencies, the County Chamber of Commerce and all the local chambers of commerce to distribute agricultural and agri-business promotional literature as widely as possible. Meet or distribute information to all town municipal boards within the county to discuss what agricultural improvement opportunities exist. Continue to speak to local service agencies on the value of agriculture to the community, thereby ensuring that such an avenue will remain open as a way to disseminate information about agriculture. Hold special forums geared toward the non-agricultural community to build partnerships with those that do not have first hand knowledge of the agricultural industry.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives 1.2 Improve the relationship between government and non-government support agencies such as USDA, State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and American Farmland Trust with local farmer based organizations such as Farm Bureau, the Grange and individual farmers. Implementation Tasks: ! Have the local USDA, Soil and Water Conservation District, Cornell Cooperative Extension and other local agricultural support agencies hold annual open houses to advertise the services that they provide.
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Invite all government and non-government support agencies and the general agricultural public to annual forums on agriculture. Provide an opportunity to allow the groups to get to know each other and understand what role they play in supporting county agriculture. Encourage all government agricultural agencies to communicate better with each other. Suggest that an agricultural information clearinghouse be established that would list all agricultural agencies that exist to aid farmers and the programs that they offer. Have the information be available via the Internet. Establish an exchange program whereby information can be obtained from other New York counties that have successful agricultural programs, as well as from other states such as Wisconsin and California.

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1.3 Encourage individuals with agricultural connections to seek positions of public office. Implementation Tasks: ! Encourage the county legislators that have a direct connection to agriculture to support agricultural programs that will improve the industry in the county.
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Promote farmer-advocates for positions on town boards, school boards, the county Industrial Development Agency board, and other boards where an agricultural presence is important but may be lacking.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives 1.4 Create opportunities where farmers will be helping farmers. Implementation Tasks: ! Develop a farmer-to-farmer mentoring program that would link established farmers (consultants) with fledgling or struggling farmers (Consultees) for the sharing of prosperous farming practices and insights. Use the successful Regional Farm & Food Project, based in Albany, NY as a model.
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Examine the opportunities for quantity buying of agricultural products. Farmers could reduce expenditures if equipment and supplies were bought in bulk. Other examples include hiring a full-time mechanic that rotates between a certain number of farms. It is necessary to ensure that existing local suppliers and repair shops would not be negatively effected by such bulk purchasing.

1.5 Identify ways where lending agencies can cooperate more with the agricultural

community to provide the needed capital for agricultural ventures of all categories. Implementation Tasks: ! Encourage lending agencies to offer workshops for farmers with non-traditional agricultural ventures.
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Increase the amount of Industrial Development Agency (IDA) incentive programs that exist for farmers. Create an agricultural revolving loan program.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives

Agricultural Land Use Diversification: Goal: Create a stronger agricultural industry and maintain as much land in some form of agricultural production as possible by identifying alternative agricultural land uses and crops.
Objectives: 2.1 Obtain assistance to make improvements to land that may be unusable or not used to its full potential. Implementation Tasks: ! Promote the NYS Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative and the technical services that are provided by this program in order to make better use of grazing lands.
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Obtain technical assistance from the Soil and Water Conservation District to drain unproductive, wet fields by installing tile drainage and drainage outlets.

2.2 Encourage the development of specialty crops and livestock operations that can either supplement the income of an existing farmer or provide opportunities for new farmers. Implementation Tasks: ! Expand the number of Christmas tree and biomass plantings in the county on land not suitable for traditional agricultural crop production.
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Carry out research to determine the viability of growing specialty crops such as oriental greens, St. John’s Wort, ginseng, cranberries, mushrooms, apples, cherries, or any other crop that is not currently grown in production quantity. Encourage sugar bush operations through technical assistance and sugar maple tree protection. Identify viability of specialty livestock operations such as buffalo, goats, fallow deer, emu, birds and fish through Cornell Cooperative Extension and other support agencies. Support the controlled commercial harvest of deer, geese and turkeys.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives 2.3 Encourage the development of alternative uses for agricultural lands that can coexist with existing agricultural practices. Implementation Tasks: ! Assist farmers in leasing their land for hunting and fishing and other out-door recreational activities. Encourage tort reform that will result in lower insurance rates for the leasing of land for such activities.
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Work with the county Community Energy Services Company (CESCO) to promote wind generation as an alternative energy source and possible revenue generator. Promote Bed and Breakfast operations on active farms with an opportunity for guests to experience the day-to-day activities that occur on a working farm.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives

Education: Goal: To encourage the education of farmers on the best agricultural management practices and non-farmers on the importance of agriculture in a manner that will allow the industry to flourish in a sustainable way.
Objectives: 3.1 Provide skills training for farmers on all aspects of the agricultural industry. Implementation Tasks: ! Provide special sessions on fundamental business operating principals through the Small Business Development Center, or through the use of the SCORE program. As well as sessions on diary upgrades and expansions and specialization.
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Encourage the agricultural community to take advantage of the agricultural educational opportunities put on by Cornell Cooperative Extension. Carry out improved education for farmers on environmental issues such as the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO), Integrated Pest Management technique and training, agricultural buffers and conservation easements. Increase the amount of high-tech training that is available to the agricultural community. Educate the agricultural public about existing grant and loan opportunities that can be sought to help improve their operation. For example, the NYS Barn Revitalization Initiative and other programs that are listed in the USDA Building Better Rural Places publication.

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3.2 Provide agricultural awareness opportunities for students, consumers and the general public. Implementation Tasks: ! Promote the importance of agriculture through special media presentations that are geared to the non-agricultural community. Demonstrate the high-tech nature of parts of the business.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives
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Encourage local school districts to expand the Ag in the Classroom programs that will teach students of all ages the value and importance of the agricultural industry. Prepare an “AgStravaganza” for St. Lawrence County students and run it in conjunction with the annual County Fair. Use the Genesee County program as an example. Develop an Ag-Career Development Program to better inform students of career choices that are directly related to the agricultural industry. Use the Province of Ontario’s Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program as a guide. Utilize the Farm Bureau’s “Faces of Agriculture” kit as a ready made educational package that offers high school students an overview of careers in agriculture. Encourage BOCES to provide more agricultural skills-based training. Nurture a positive image of agricultural careers by having agricultural professionals attend job fairs at local colleges. Advocate for additional funding to expand the tours that are currently being held at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Learning Farm. Develop public service announcements that will address areas of concern that arise between the farm and non-farm population, such as farm equipment on roads, noise, dust and odors. Maintain existing agricultural education programs such as the “Envirothon” and “Farm Safety Day Camp” that are currently in place, looking to expand the existing programs as necessary.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives

Farm/Processing Equipment and Infrastructure: Goal: To assist in the provision of the best possible equipment and infrastructure for St. Lawrence County farmers thereby allowing them to maximize their efficiency and remain competitive.
Objectives: 4.1 Provide county farmers with adequate amounts of the latest farm production and processing equipment available. Implementation Tasks: ! Support the soybean drying facility in the Massena Industrial Park that is scheduled for completion in 2001.
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Promote the sharing of expensive production equipment between a number of producers (multiple owners for one piece of equipment). Carry out a detailed examination to determine if additional agricultural product processing plants could be sustained in the County. Specifically, examine the possibility of building a grain drying facility in the eastern part of the county. Support existing agricultural equipment support businesses such as heavy machinery repair shops and fabricating shops. Identify what equipment and processing needs exist for non-traditional agricultural operations.

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4.2 Develop and improve on-farm and countywide infrastructure that is necessary for agricultural operations. Implementation Tasks: ! Identify funding sources and technical assistance resources for milking parlor improvements and conversions and tile drainage installations. Encourage the Development Agency of the North County (DANC) to allot more funds for tile drainage.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives
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Impress upon state and federal officials the need for increased road access to the county, noting that new roads should not be built on prime agricultural land Encourage the State Department of Transportation and the County Highway Department to develop a policy stating that they will consult with the agricultural community before bridge projects are undertaken. The transportation of some farm equipment is impeded by narrow bridge rights-of-way. Educate State, County and Town highway officials and work crews on the impacts that road and roadside ditching work has on agricultural operations. Assist the agricultural community with the development of field access roads and cattle underpasses, where needed. Suggest that the milk haulers develop more efficient and coordinated milk collection routes in an effort to reduce milk shipping fees. Encourage the state Public Service Commission and St. Lawrence Gas to extend natural gas supply lines to the towns of Lawrence, Brasher and Stockholm.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives

Marketing: Goal: Promote the sale of county agricultural commodities, including land, and the utilization of county agricultural services at the local, regional, national and international level.
Objectives 5.1 Assist county farmers with selling their products by improving the knowledge of what products are produced locally and increasing the venues for such sales. Implementation Tasks: ! Create a North Country product identity label as a means of advertising county agricultural products.
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Increase the St. Lawrence County farmer use of the Pride of New York Label as a way of capturing more interstate sales. Encourage grocery stores to promote locally grown products with a dedicated area reserved for local products. With the assistance of the county’s Chambers of Commerce, develop and distribute promotional brochures for locally grown crops. Work with local town and village boards to facilitate the siting of farmers markets in as many communities as possible. Prepare a brochure that lists all the farmers markets in the County, similar to the state document. Encourage the state Department of Agriculture and Markets to increase its promotion of the nutritional value of locally grown products, including dairy products. Market niche products to the rotating student population at the four county colleges through selling at student orientation events.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives 5.2 Market the land and resources that exist in St. Lawrence County. Implementation Tasks: ! Work with local realtors to develop a list of available agricultural land, both active and inactive, which would appeal to out-of-state farmers looking to relocate or start an agricultural operation.
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Establish a website that would advertise St. Lawrence County agricultural land and products. Promote the land base of St. Lawrence County at Canadian agricultural fairs, focusing on the county’s proximity to major Canadian cities. Create a list of niche products that could be grown or produced in the county and promote their development in the County. Prepare promotional brochures on why dairy production works well in St. Lawrence County. Determine where the prime agricultural land exists in the county using the Agricultural Mapping Atlas that has been prepared as part of this Agricultural Development Plan. Promote agricultural development on the most suitable land. Work to promote those products and activities that have the best return on investment.

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5.3 Promote the diversification of farm operations by assisting with the development of specific agritourism initiatives. Implementation Tasks: ! Promote the agri-tours that are listed in the St. Lawrence County Travel Guide.
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Develop a “Breakfast on the Farm” program that would draw people to farm operations where they could purchase locally produced agricultural products. Work with Franklin County to develop a “Sugarmakers Festival” to promote the maple syrup industry in the region.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives
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Use the services of Seaway Trail, Inc. to assist in the promotion of agritourism attractions in St. Lawrence County. Work with the County Highway Department and the State Department of Transportation to develop permanent signage that promotes agriculture and agritourism in the county. Endorse a cooperative effort between the State and the County that will promote agritourism locally and statewide. Hold workshops that will assist farmers who would like to develop an agritourism initiative on their farm. At the workshops address regulations, insurance, management and promotion.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives

Services: Goal: Improve the services that are necessary to keep farmers and the agricultural industry thriving.
Objectives: 6.1 Promote services necessary for the day-to-day operation of a successful agricultural enterprise. Implementation Tasks: ! Increase incentives such as guaranteed first-year salaries, scholarships and prime office locations to draw large animal veterinarians to St. Lawrence County. Make sure that existing incentive programs continue.
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Establish a “Temporary Workforce Labor Service” modeled after the Vermont Farm Labor Service Program. Provide placement on both a short-term and long-term basis. Develop an agricultural ombudsman position that can deal with agricultural disputes and set up support groups for sharing agricultural problems and solutions. Use the State’s DMAP (Deer Management Assistance Program) to its full potential. Support efforts to have the program expanded to be more effective and to have similar programs address other nuisance animals like geese, turkeys and beaver. Provide technical assistance to farmers in responding to CAFO and other regulations that impact an agricultural operation.

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6.2 Determine services necessary to sustain long-term agricultural viability in the County. Implementation Tasks: ! Develop a wetlands mitigation bank to increase the amount of productive agricultural land.
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Revive and promote as necessary agricultural educational service organizations such as FFA and 4H.

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Chapter 6 – Agricultural Advancement and Improvement Initiatives
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Promote intergenerational farm transfers by use of the Farm Link program, and conduct intensive educational sessions and technical assistance for estate and retirement planning. List conservation easement agencies and describe what benefit they can provide to agricultural landowners. Identify missing service niches that are necessary to promote both traditional and nontraditional agriculture. Update the Agri-business Directory developed as a companion to this document (see Appendix VI) on a biannual basis.

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The Agri-business Directory
The County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board, in their development of the Agricultural Development Plan, noted that a detailed, exhaustive list of agricultural services and agri-businesses would be a great asset to county farmers. The information would be of even more interest to new farmers to the area that do not have an established local contact list of their own. A Plan Steering Committee used an older list as a model and augmented that list with numerous other contact names. The directory includes contact names, addresses, telephone numbers and email and website addresses where available. The directory has numerous categories ranging from auctioneers to hoof trimmers to veterinarians. Government and general agricultural support agencies are also listed. The directory is attached as Appendix VI to this document but will also be distributed widely throughout the county. Copies will be available in each town’s municipal office, the County Planning Office, the various county chambers of commerce and at a number of agricultural support agencies within the county. For the directory to remain useful it must be regularly updated. An implementation task in Section 6.2 of the Services section suggests a review of the directory every two years.

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