Agricultural District Annual Enrollment Process and Procedures:
Putnam County has an annual enrollment period for viable farmland to be considered for inclusion into the Putnam County Agricultural District #1. During the month of April, landowners can petition to have their viable farmland enrolled into the County Agricultural District by filling out the Putnam County Annual Enrollment Form and submitting it to the Putnam County Legislature. The submitted form(s) will then be reviewed by the Putnam County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board (PCAFPB) and Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation District during the month of May. As part of the review process a farm visit will also occur during the month of May. The PCAFPB by AML Article 25AA is charged with determining whether the land to be included in the agricultural district consists predominantly of “viable agricultural land” as defined in §301. – 7 of AML Article 25AA and the inclusion of such land would serve the public interest by assisting in maintaining a viable agricultural industry within the agricultural district. Once the PCAFPB has completed their review, the entire board will vote and then provide their recommendations to the County Legislature’s Physical Services Committee.
The county legislature’s Physical Services Committee reviews the PCAFPB’s recommendations and moves their decision to the full Legislative Board (landowners are encouraged to attend this meeting in case there are concerns or questions regarding the tax parcels). Prior to the full Legislature Board vote a public hearing is held (again landowners are encouraged to attend in case there are concerns or questions).
After the full Legislature Board votes on either to adopt or reject the inclusion of land parcels that petitioned to be included in Putnam Agricultural District #1, a letter, maps, and county resolution is then sent to the Commissioner of the NYS Agriculture and Markets for certification. Once certified by NYS Agriculture and Markets, the tax parcels immediately become part of the County Agricultural District #1.
NYS Agriculture and Markets required programmatic eight-year review requires the county to contact all property owners within the agricultural district letting them know they need to re-petition to be in the agricultural district. Each landowner needs to fill out the Putnam County Annual Enrollment Form and follow the procedures listed above otherwise they will no longer be in the agricultural district. You must do that even if you haven’t been in the agricultural district for the entire 8 years.
Preparation for petitioning to be included into the Putnam County Agricultural District #1 Check List:
- Do you feel you have viable agricultural land that produces a viable income? If so please review AML Article 25AA at http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/ap/agservices/25-AA.pdf. (For an equine operation Article 25AA requires that you have 7 acres in equine use, 10 horses and $10,000 in gross income).
- Have you developed a business plan to be submitted with your enrollment form?
- We highly recommend that you attend a Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board meeting to discuss you farm operation.
- Submit you Agricultural District Enrollment Form and Business Plan to the Putnam County Legislature during the month of April.