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Attention Landowners – Oswego County Agricultural District in Review

Every eight years it is required by law to review Agricultural Districts in New York State.

Ag Districts were created by an act of the Legislature in 1971 to protect and promote the availability of land for farming purposes; they are intended to counteract the impact that non-farm development has upon the continuation of farm businesses by providing a framework limiting unreasonable local regulation on farm practices.

Lands currently signed into the District are renewed only by submission of the “Ag District Review Worksheet.”

It is not automatic and in Oswego County, the Farmland Protection Board has assured that no property will be put into the Ag District unless the owner signs it up.

The primary benefits of having your agricultural land enrolled in the Agricultural District as defined in the Ag Districts Law are (1) to encourage the maintenance of viable farmland; (2) limitations are placed on the use of eminent domain; and, (3) to discourage private nuisance lawsuits pertaining to farming practices.

You may also be eligible for property tax reductions on your farmland in the Ag District.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County mailed a letter and worksheet to all landowners currently in the Ag District.

If you choose not to include your land in the Ag District, please sign your name on the worksheet and state that you do not want your land included for the next eight years.

The worksheet must be returned regardless so you are not contacted again.

If you wish to remain in the Ag District, please fill out the worksheet and return it by February 13, 2015.

If you did not receive a letter and feel you should have, or wish to newly join the Ag District, please call CCE of Oswego County at 315-963-7286.

The “Ag District Review Worksheet” is composed of three parts.

Part I is simply your name, address, phone number and whether or not you are a farmer.

Part II is a description of the farm.

This is not meant to violate your privacy, it is required for us to compile and provide a report to the NYS Dept. of Ag and Markets about the amount of land and the farming activities within the entire district.

If everyone underestimates the gross farm sales and capital investments, it will give a false impression of the impact of farming in our region.

Part III is where you will list the individual parcels that you own which you want to sign up in the Ag District.

Please be sure to list all the parcels that you want in the Ag District.

Your property tax information is the most accurate source of this information or go to the Real Properties Tax Service website for Oswego County at: http://www.co.oswego.ny.us/rpts.shtml

To further assist you, the following landowner information meetings are being held:

February 2 – 2 – 4 p.m. – Oswego County Federal Credit Union, 5828 Scenic Ave., Mexico

February 6 – 1 – 3 p.m. – American Legion Post 915, 3301 Fulton Ave., Central Square

February 12 – 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. – Granby Community Center, 820 County Route 8, Granby

Oswego County is a rural county, with a prosperous agricultural community.

The diversity of land allows for the growth of a variety of agricultural products including onions, apples, meat, cheese, wine, maple syrup, honey, berries, plums, peaches, and a wide variety of vegetables.

Within the county there are at least seven local farmers markets, with one open almost every day of the week.

The agricultural community in this county generates $47.6 million in annual revenue from 657 farms.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County interprets, disseminates and delivers research-based information and knowledge on issues relevant to Oswego County youth, individuals, families, farms, small business and communities.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.

The office is located at 3288 Main St., Mexico.

For more information about programming contact, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County at 315-963-7286 or thatscooperativeextension.org.