County Outlines Results from Agricultural Task Force Survey

Broome County Executive Debbie Preston joined Legislators Ron Keibel and Scott Baker, along with  Brian Aukema from Cornell Cooperative Extension to announce the results of the recently completed Broome County Agricultural Survey.

Keibel and Aukema are the co-chairmen of the recently formed Agricultural Task Force.


“The survey showed that our farmers see great potential farming in our community in the future,” says Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.  “It also shows there are initiatives we can undertake at the County level to help them succeed.”


According to the survey results, most farmers (63%) have a positive outlook for agriculture in Broome County.


“Many of the farms in our community have been in families for generations,” says Legislator Ron Keibel.  “Receiving feedback through this survey helps tell us what we can do to ensure these farms remain an important part of our economy.”


“Farming is a major industry in Broome County,” says Brian Aukema, co-chairman of the Agricultural Task Force. “These results show that our farmers have a great deal invested in our community.  We will use these results to develop strategies and initiatives to encourage and expand agriculture in our region.”


The survey shows that farmers have a strong interest in exploring new venues for selling their products like a Farmers Market or local restaurants and grocery stores.


The survey also showed some of the obstacles to success for farmers including high property taxes, increasing price for land expansion and encroaching development into agricultural areas.


County Executive Preston also teamed up with the Planning and Economic Development Departments and Legislator Baker to announce a $50,000 grant from the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Program.


The money will be used to prepare an update to the County’s Agricultural Economic Development Plan.


“It’s so important to consider our famers and develop a plan for them to succeed in Broome County,” says Chief Planner Frank Evangilisti.  “We will take the results from the survey and develop an up to date plan that addresses the needs of farmers not only now, but also in the future.”


“As a member of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Board of Directors, I know how important it is that we do everything we can to help our farmers to be successful,” said Legislator Scott Baker. “The Broome County Legislature was proud to partner with County Executive Preston last year to support the Agricultural Economic Development Plan with a $10,000 County grant that will be combined with the $50,000 State grant to complete the Plan.”


In addition, the Broome County Industrial Development Agency, or IDA wants to expand its area of expertise to work with our local farmers.


03/10/2015 - 11:38am