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Agricultural District

The Agricultural Districts Law (Article 25-AA of the Agriculture and Markets Law) was created in 1972 to foster the growth and protection on New York's farming communities. The Law has its origin in Article XIV of the State Constitution which establishes state policy for protecting farmlands by encouraging the development and improvement of our agricultural lands.

The districting process is based on a local approach aimed at defining and documenting agricultural areas in which farming can be sustained and developed.  Within the bounds of a district, farmers are granted a series of benefits that may or may not have immediate effects on their operations.  Over a period of time, different provisions may be of increasing value to the effectiveness and competitiveness of farm operations.

Unlike the purpose of zoning, other land uses within a district are permitted.  However, once a district is established, a set of incentives are provided to farm operations and a set of disincentives are in effect for non-farm development.

The Law is based on the understanding that farmland is preserved through maintenance and fostering of farming itself.  Farming is dependent upon a favorable set of social and economic conditions without which a loss of commitment results. No one program can address all the necessary elements, but districts, working from the grass roots up, help secure an environment that is beneficial for commercial agriculture.

(Agricultural Districts Handbook, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets)


Each year, the time period of request for inclusion into an Agricultural District takes place from January 1st to January 31st. For more information and to file a request, please contact:                                                                

                                                               Betsy Sherman-Saunders, Clerk, Oswego County Legislature


Web Site with More Information

NYS Department of

Agriculture and Markets