Grasstravaganza 2014, July 17-19 at Morrisville State College

Grasstravaganza 2014

Pasture Soil Health Creates Wealth

July 17-19, 2014
Morrisville State College, Morrisville, New York

The Grasstravaganza grazing conference returns!

Filled with knowledgeable speakers, site tours and enthusiastic vendors, Grasstravaganza is specifically designed for farmers, consumers and agriculture professionals that would like to improve their bottom line through greater soil health.

Registration and information online:
grasstravaganza.morrisville.edu

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Cayuga County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan draft released for public comment

Ag Plan logoCayuga County Releases the Draft of the County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan

Will Hold Public Hearing on May 29

A draft of the updated Cayuga County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan was released May 14, 2014 for public review and comment. Prepared by the Cayuga County Department of Planning and Economic Development, the draft is an update to the existing county agriculture plan adopted in 1996. The plan contains a survey and analysis of existing agricultural practices and support services, including identified strengths, opportunities, needs and challenges. The plan also includes an implementation strategy to address needs and challenges, take advantage of identified opportunities and protect the county’s agricultural strengths.

An overview of the draft will be presented on May 29, 2014 at 7 pm, at the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES at 1879 West Genesee Street Road, Auburn. Immediately following the presentation, an opportunity for public input will be provided at a public hearing held by the Cayuga County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board.

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Farm Stands, Tasting Rooms, and Agritourism: Land Use Training, March 19 in Auburn

The Cayuga County Planning Board 2014 Land Use Training Series starts on March 19 with a training session on a distinctive type of agricultural use.

Farm Stands, Tasting Rooms, and Agritourism:
Where Agricultural and Commercial Uses Intersect

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 | 7 – 9 PM
Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES Conference Room
1879 West Genesee Street Road, Auburn, NY 13021
Click HERE to register

Agriculture is not just farming anymore. Some agricultural uses create impacts that are very similar to commercial development, both negatives like traffic and noise as well as benefits like increasing the tax base and providing attractive amenities. Join other local officials and agricultural business people to discuss how to properly manage the negative impacts while welcoming the positive benefits of these agricultural uses.

Cost: FREE
Presenter: Cayuga County Planning
Download the flyer

A complete list of trainings and County Planning Board meetings can be found on our website.

Results of the County-wide Ag Plan November Public Meetings Now Available

Thank you to all who attended a public meeting last month for the County-wide Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan update!  There were 86 participants in total, in addition to the 16 steering committee members who attended.  About 60% of the attendees were farmers, while 27 attendees (about 40%) identified themselves as owners of an agriculture-related business. Click here for attendance statistics.

Each meeting started out with a brief introductory powerpoint presentation about the impact of agriculture on our local economy and current trends in agriculture.  Then, attendees formed discussion groups of 10-15 people, facilitated by a steering committee member, county planning staff member, or volunteer.  The discussion groups focused on four questions for fifteen minutes each, breaking in between to report back to the room on what they had discussed. The four discussion questions were:

1. What should our county’s agriculture look like in the next 20 years?

2. What needs and challenges do our farms and agricultural businesses face?

3. What strengths and opportunities will sustain and grow our agricultural economy?

4. How can we ensure farmland is protected for future farmers?

A volunteer note-taker took notes for each discussion group.  Check out the compilation and summary of the discussion notes and the updated project website

To get the latest project updates direct to your email in box, contact project manager Rima Shamieh at rshamieh@cayugacounty.us or (315) 253-1484.

The County-Wide Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan Update Has Begun

This spring, the Planning Department and the County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board (AFPB) launched an 18-month process to update the county-wide Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan. The plan was first written in 1996.  Creating a new plan will require extensive public participation from all facets of our community such as farmers, agricultural service and supply industries, processors, retailers, and consumers.  The new plan will aim to identify complementary strategies to protect our farmland from future development and to support and develop our agricultural economy.  To that end, we will be taking a hard look at the current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to our farmland and agricultural economy.  We will focus on meaningful actions that our county, towns, villages, and residents can take to strengthen our farming communities and facilitate economic success.

The project’s steering committee, made up of county AFPB members and stakeholders from the agricultural community, will hold its first meeting in late July.  Focus groups and public meetings to gather input will be held this fall and winter, when farmers will have a little more time on their hands.  Meanwhile, project leader and new county Planner, Rima Shamieh, is hard at work putting together a mapped inventory of all the county’s contributors to the agricultural economy, gathering background information, and analyzing local land use regulations for a county-wide “farm-friendly audit.”  Rima’s being assisted by a Master’s of Regional Planning student summer intern from Cornell University, Caitlyn Liu.

Stay tuned for more on this topic in the coming months!  Also, check out the County Planning website for more information and resources, and to sign up for the project email list (as soon as the County website updates are completed…).