Over time, Dutchess County has seen significant changes in its agricultural economy. In the past, the conversion of farmland into non-farm uses due to development pressures and the lack of profitable farm operations were top concerns. Currently, farmland loss has slowed and the agricultural economy has rebounded to a significant degree. There are now excellent prospects for a continuing and vital agricultural industry in Dutchess County based on new markets, growing interest in local agricultural products, and opportunities for continued land preservation for the next generation of farmers.
In pursuit of forwarding agriculture in Dutchess County, the Dutchess County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan outlines a vision of diverse profitable farms and agricultural businesses that contribute significantly to our economy and quality of life.
The Plan features a detailed exploration of the agricultural industry's strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and constraints, as well as a data-rich description of actual conditions. It also proposes five core initiatives to support the growth of the County's agricultural economy: