Announced as a 2019 initiative at the 2018 Dutchess County Agricultural Advisory Committee Forum, the Dutchess County Right-to-Farm Law was passed unanimously by the County Legislature and signed by County Executive Molinaro in August 2019. This law works in complement with the New York State Right-to-Farm Law, which is included in NYS Agriculture & Markets Law (AML) (Article 25-AA, Section 308). This law also supports the “Farm-Friendly Regulation” initiative included in the 2015 Dutchess County Agricultural & Farmland Protection Plan, which calls for the prevention of development from moving into prime farmland areas, the allowance of a variety of agricultural uses in local zoning districts, and the establishment of development guidelines that address how agricultural land and open space will be protected.
Background of the Law:
Out of the 62 counties in New York State, there are now 17 counties with Right-to-Farm laws, including Dutchess County. The intent of these laws is to make a declarative statement about the positive role that agriculture, particularly as a local business, plays in the county. This law applies only to property located in a State-certified agricultural district and to farm operations that conform with generally accepted and sound agricultural practices (as defined in the law). In Dutchess County, we have four agricultural districts (i.e. 20, 21, 22, and 23), encompassing over 197,000 acres of land.
Right-to-Farm Law Highlights:
Municipal Guidance on Farm-Friendly Regulations:
If local municipalities would like guidance on farm-friendly regulations or crafting a similar right-to-farm law, please see the following resources:
For more information, please contact the Dutchess County Department of Planning & Development at (845) 486-3600 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.