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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Dutchess County Develops Farm-Friendly Guidelines

photo: StockMediaSeller/

Dutchess County has launched a new effort to make its communities more farm friendly, with two publications to help municipalities plan and zone for agriculture. It’s also hosting a free virtual series, Farming in Dutchess.

The Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development has released the inaugural edition of its new publication, Blueprint: An In-Depth Look at Planning Issues. The first issue, Fielding Farm-Friendliness Through Planning and Zoning, explores how communities can integrate farm-friendly practices into local land-use documents. A new eNewsletter, Food for Thought: Supporting Urban Agriculture Through Planning and Zoning, from the Dutchess County Planning Federation, focuses on how communities can support agriculture in and around cities, villages, town centers and large residential neighborhoods or subdivisions.    

The virtual series, hosted by the Dutchess County Agricultural Advisory Committee, will cover social and land-development pressures (March); agriculture education (April); local food, farm markets and stores (May); and food security (June).

“Dutchess County is truly an incredible place to farm, and the work we are doing for Dutchess County agriculture is so very important,” says Matt Sabellico, committee chair. “It gives me a deep sense of accomplishment knowing we are working to aid established farms, as well as up-and-coming ones, to be successful, and it all begins with knowledge. Getting relevant information into the hands of farmers, municipal staff, and members of the public gives the Dutchess County agriculture community the tools necessary to not only survive but thrive.”

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