Town survey to look at use of farmland

 

The Town of Granville will be mailing a survey to all farmers and farmland owners in the town this week.

The survey is designed to help the town understand how farmers and farmland owners feel about farming in Granville and about the types and extent of farming activities taking place.

Granville received a grant from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to develop a farm and farmland protection plan.

Board members Matt Rathbun and Ken Quick sit on the committee formed to make use of the grant money. “It’s the first step,” Rathbun said. The larger plan is to form an agricultural protection master plan with an eye towards developing a master plan for the town in the future. The idea would be to “wrap” the town’s master plan around the agricultural plan, Rathbun said.

The town board appointed a committee to draft this plan, and they have been working on it for several months now. The committee has already mapped farms and farm resources, collected data from sources such as the Federal Agricultural Census, and worked on a list of issues to be addressed.

However, the needs and desires of the farming community are critical to creating a realistic plan that will help Granville protect its farms and farmland. The plan being developed will include details on the current agricultural conditions, will establish a vision statement and a set of goals, and offer strategies that the town can take to accomplish those goals over time.

Farmers and farmland owners have been identified from the real property listings. About 125 surveys will be mailed.

The town asks that all surveys be returned by May 5 where they can be handed in at the next meeting.

If anyone who conducts farm activities in Granville did not receive a survey, please call the town clerk or stop in at town hall to pick up a copy of the survey.

The farm community’s input is very important to the development of this plan and the town encourages all farmers to participate.

The committee meets on the first Thursday of each month at town hall and all are welcome to come and join in the development of the plan.

“We’re always looking for more input from farmers and we’re talking about farmers of any kind, not just dairy but anything from sheep to maple to apples, goats, chickens – whatever – alpacas, any niche farmers anything agricultural,” Rathbun said.

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