Today I received a phone call from NYS Ag & Markets. I was informed that Hartford was awarded a $24,000 Farmland Protection Planning Grant. The application for this grant was done during the planning process of our current Comprehensive Review (Master Plan) with the help of Consultant Brandy Saxton.
This grant is to develope an agricultural and farmland protection plan and should not be confused with an implementation type of grant which is designed to buy up the developmental rights of farmland.
The Town Board will need to appoint a 5 or 7 member Agricultural Advisory Committee made up of Hartford Farmers.
The town will also need to contract with a consultant experienced in drafting these type of plans. The Ag Advisory Committee and the consultant will then work closely together to draft up a plan.
As per the Ag & Market website, Farmland protection plans should identify the location of farmland proposed to be protected, the value of that land to the local economy, the value of the land as open space, consequences of possible conversion and the level of conversion pressure on the proposed land.