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Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Planning and Development
Eoin Wrafter, Commissioner



In 2013 Dutchess County received a NYS Farmland Protection Planning Grant to update our Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan which was first adopted in 1998. During 2014 many stakeholders worked diligently to complete the strategic planning process that resulted in a Plan that was unanimously approved by the County Legislature in March 2015.

See below for the adopted Plan and Executive Summary.

Dutchess County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Dutchess County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan – Executive Summary

Agriculture has been and continues to be one of Dutchess County's primary industries. Our economy, rural landscape, community character, environment, health and overall quality of life are all positively affected by farms operating here. Although agriculture has changed through time and continues to evolve and diversify, it plays a significant role in both the economy and quality of life for Dutchess County residents.

A wide range of agricultural stakeholders and support agencies provided input and guidance for the Plan. The Plan features a detailed exploration of the industry's strengths, weaknesses and opportunities and a data rich description of actual conditions. Dutchess County has seen significant changes in its agricultural economy since the adoption of the last Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan in 1998. At that time the loss of farms and conversion of farmland into non-farm users due to the high level of development pressure and to the lack of profitability of farm operations were top concerns. Sixteen years later, farmland loss has slowed and the agricultural conomy has rebounded to a significant degree. There are now excellent prospects for a continuing and vital agricultural economy, based on new markets, growing interest in local agricultural products, and opportunities for continued land preservation for the next generation of farmers. This Plan’s purpose is to build on these strengths and successes. The Plan proposes five core Initiatives to support the growth of the County's agricultural economy; (follow each link below for details)  

Initiative 1 - Coordination and Collaboration through an Agricultural Navigator & Agricultural Advisory Committee
Initiative 2 - Agricultural Economic Development and Business Retention & Expansion Program
Initiative 3 - Farmland Preservation
Initiative 4 - Farm Friendly Regulation
Initiative 5 - Marketing, Public Relations and Awareness



Project Team

Consultants: Nan Stolzentburg and Don Meltz, Community Plannng & Environmental Associates, and the Hudson Group

Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County

Dutchess County Soil & Water Conservation District

Dutchess County Planning & Development

Agriculture & Farmland Resources List (.pdf)

The Plan update was funded in part by an Agricultural and Farmland Protection Planning Grant from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets; additional funding provided by Dutchess County


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