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Agricultural Environmental Management


AEM is a voluntary, incentive-based program that assists farmers in their environmental stewardship efforts and protects the quality of their farms’ natural resources, which are the foundation of their long-term economic viability.  The AEM program coordinates agricultural and environmental conservation agencies and programs, as well as private sector consultants, to provide a one-stop resource for services.  All agricultural counties in New York State are conducting AEM programs, and participation has grown to include nearly 10,000 farms.

Farmers work with local AEM resource professionals to develop and implement comprehensive, site-specific farm plans using a five-tiered approach:

Tier 1: Inventory current activities, future plans and potential environmental concerns.

Tier 2: Document current land stewardship; assess and prioritize areas of concern.

Tier 3: Develop a conservation plan addressing concerns and opportunities tailored to farm goals.

Tier 4: Implement the plan utilizing available financial, educational and technical assistance.

Tier 5: Conduct evaluations to ensure the protection of farm viability and the environment.

An AEM Risk Assessment can help you:

Document your environmental practices and the benefits your farm provides to your community.

Assess vulnerable areas of the farm that may present environmental risk.

Identify practices at risk for regulatory action or neighbor complaints to prevent hassles and fines.

Determine if your water supply or neighboring wells are at risk for contamination.

Qualify for state and federal cost-share grants to address high risk issues.

Acquire information for long-term business planning and better positioning in the marketplace.

Consider conservation practices that could save you money when implemented.

Earn “green” payments or participate in farmland protection programs.

Click on the button to go to the NYS AEM website.