Supervisors adopt ag plan


By David Avitabile

Now the hard part begins for Schoharie County's Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board.
Schoharie County supervisors Friday morning unanimously and without much question adopted the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan.
After a thorough explanation of the plan by consultant Nan Stolzenburg, supervisors had a few questions on the restrictiveness of the plan and new personnel needed to implement the plan.
The plan now goes to the department of Ag and Markets for final review and approval.
Cobleskill Supervisor Leo McAllister asked if farmers were still able to use the land as they please, in case they wanted to use a portion to make extra income.
Ms. Stolzenburg responded that there are no restrictions in the plan.
Gilboa Supervisor and Farmer Tony VanGlad urged farmers to get involved with organizations in their industry as well as the Farm Bureau.
He also noted that the New York State Ag Commissioner, Richard Ball, lives in Schoharie.
"We have an ear to the state," Mr. VanGlad added.
In the plan, there is a call for an ag marketing specialist but it does not say where that position would be housed.
The position could be through the college, Cooperative Extension, the county, another agency, or a combination of two or more agencies, said Alicia Terry, senior planner for the county. Grants are also being sought for the position.
The position needs to be identified, she added.
"We need to have that conversation."
Cooperative Extension had a request in the 2017 county budget for a position but it was removed during the budget process, Ms. Terry noted.