Wayne County is home to thousands of acres of agricultural land with productive soils that are used by multiple local farming operations. Many of these parcels are identified in one countywide Agricultural District. Landowners for properties that are used for farming purposes which are not currently in the District are encouraged to apply for enrollment before January 31. The Wayne County Board of Supervisors established the annual district enrollment review period from January 1 to January 31 for properties that are “predominantly viable agricultural land.” During this open enrollment, properties can be added to the existing Wayne County agricultural district.
State-certified agricultural districts offer operational benefits and local protections to farming operations on land that is used for farming purposes. These benefits are not related to municipal zoning ordinances but do allow for protected activities on land in the county district. Enrollment applications require information about the farm operations such as the farm owner’s name, address, tax parcel identification number and a description of the general farm operations performed on that parcel.
Ora Rothfuss, Agricultural Development Specialist for Wayne County Economic Development and Planning, is the local expert on these and other programs for farming operations and can assist landowners with the application process. “Our county has a vibrant farming community,” Rothfuss stated. “This program is an important part of protecting the farm operations and viable farmland for the future.” The current district maps are available for review on the county website at https://web.co.wayne.ny.us/244/Maps-of-Agricultural-Districts. Wayne County Economic Development and Planning department oversees the county’s Agricultural Districts. For more information on this program and other agricultural development opportunities, call 315-946-7692, email [email protected], or visit https://web.co.wayne.ny.us/234/Agricultural-Development.
The Economic Development and Planning department performs multiple functions including implementation of local economic development initiatives, County planning board reviews, and management of land use and other planning studies. Staff members also provide services to the County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and the Wayne Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) which offer several loan funds and can provide benefits to companies locating or expanding in Wayne County that meet certain qualifying criteria. More information is available online at https://web.co.wayne.ny.us. Contact the office directly at 315-946-5919 or email [email protected].
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