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Ag Committee

In February of 2013 the Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan was finalized.  This document outlines the establishment of an Agriculture Committee.

In June of 2014 the Town Board passed a resolution forming the Agriculture Committee and outlining their scope.  This resolution can be found below.
 

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Resolution establishing the Ag Committee:

RESOLUTION #130 of 2014:
WHEREAS, on February 26, 2013 the Town of Ulysses adopted an Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan; and
 
WHEREAS, the Town of Ulysses Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan was subsequently reviewed and approved by the Tompkins County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board and has been approved by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets; and
 
WHEREAS, the Town of Ulysses Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan lists as a Primary Implementation Strategy to “Establish by resolution an Agriculture Committee to assist the Town Board in implementation of the Plan and to generally advise the Town Board on matters impacting agriculture in the Town of Ulysses”, and designated that the Agriculture Committee will work with Town staff, as well as with County and State agencies and organizations that support agriculture and land conservation;
 
Now therefore be it RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Ulysses hereby establishes the
 
Purpose, Structure, Operational Parameters, and Membership of the Town of Ulysses Agriculture Committee
 
Section 1
The purpose of the Agriculture Committee is to advise the Town Board and other Town agencies on matters pertaining to the preservation, promotion, and ongoing operation of agricultural activity and enterprises in the Town of Ulysses. As described in the Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan Section 6, the Agriculture Committee will work with Town Staff, Cooperative Extension, and other knowledgeable organizations and individuals to strengthen the agricultural economy, to improve public understanding of farming, to establish appropriate tax policies that support agriculture, and to enhance land use policies to better protect farmland.
 
Section 2
  1. Committee; Personnel; Appointment; Organization. There is hereby established in the Town of Ulysses a permanent committee to be known and designated as the "Town of Ulysses Agriculture Committee" which shall consist of citizens appointed by the Town Board representing a broad range of agricultural experience. The committee shall consist of nine (9) individuals who are engaged in farming, agri-business, an agriculture-or agriculture support-related vocation, or generally knowledgeable about land use planning and / or agricultural land conservation, or own large tracts of agricultural land in the Town. One of the committee members may be a farmer in the Town of Ulysses who owns or rents farmland in Ulysses but does not reside in the Town; all other members of the committee shall be Ulysses residents. The committee make-up consists of: one (1) agricultural support/marketing; five (5) farmers, one (1) landowner with leased land, and two (2) open seats. A Town Board member will serve as an ex-officio membership shall consist of representatives from the Town Board, Planning Board, Town Staff, and Cornell Cooperative Extension and will only be eligible to serve on the committee while he/she holds the Town office. The voting members of the said committee first appointed, shall serve for terms as follows: three (3) appointees for one (1) year terms; three (3) appointees for two (2) year terms and three (3) appointees for a three (3) year term. Thereafter, all appointments shall be for terms of three (3) years and vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term only. The members of the committee shall receive no compensation for their services.
The committee shall organize within sixty (60) days after the appointment of its total membership for the remainder of that calendar year and thereafter annually and select from among its voting members a chairperson and such other officers as it may deem necessary. Said committee may establish rules of order and should meet at least twice annually. Additional Committee meetings will be set according to its rules of order and as needed to complete tasks and meet its general responsibilities. The Agriculture Committee shall report to the Town Board at least annually on its activities and interface with other boards or agencies as may request its assistance.
 
  1. Assistance. The Agriculture Committee may request technical assistance and/or specialized advice from any resource it may deem appropriate, including but not limited to other local residents; other Town of Ulysses officials; Tompkins County Planning; Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation; Tompkins County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board; Finger Lakes Land Trust; American Farmland Trust; New York Agricultural Land Trust; and NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets. The Town Board shall authorize a clerk to assist with committee work.
  2. Funds for Committee Operations. As a citizen advisory committee, the Agriculture Committee may not authorize any expenditure of Town funds or enter into any contract arrangements for payment of services. Funds necessary for proper committee operation or technical assistance may be requested by the committee from the Town Board and, in accordance with customary procedures, the Town Board may authorize such  funds and  approve the expenditure thereof, and  execute contracts in support of approved expenditures.
 
Section 3
Responsibilities of Committee.  In accordance  with  the  Town  of  Ulysses  Agriculture  and  Farmland Protection Plan, the tasks of the committee may include (not listed in order of priority):
 
  1. Recommend methods, review proposals, and develop plans for the implementation of the goals of the Plan and, report their findings to the Town Board.
  2. Develop an annual work plan, in accordance with Section 6 of the Plan, “Maintenance of the Plan”. As deemed necessary, work with the Town Board to amend and update the Plan. A formal review of the document should be considered every five years.
  3. Monitor trends in agriculture and local farming activity and determine existing issues facing farmers and those in related endeavors and recommend reasonable and desirable solutions to the Town Board.
  4. Monitor local development so as to identify future issues and pressures on agricultural land, and recommend reasonable and desirable solutions to the Town Board to preserve such lands.
  5. Identify opportunities to help promote direct marketing and commodity marketing opportunities for local farmers and to expand value-added agricultural operations in the Town.
  6. Identify methods whereby the Town Board, County or State governments can encourage existing farmers to continue in active agricultural operation, and that can help connect people interested in farming with available farmland in the Town of Ulysses.
  7. When requested by the Town Board or other agencies engaged in and environmental review of proposed private or public development and/or infrastructure projects, provide input regarding the impacts on agriculture of such projects. Study and comment on proposals by local, county, state or federal governments that may impact on local farms and farmlands, including zoning and other land use policies.
  8. Inform local farmers that the Agriculture Committee exists and can offer advice and assistance in many cases, and invite participation in Committee activities. Facilitate the local presentation of educational programs by Cooperative Extension and other experts.
  9. Encourage and assist applications to farmland preservation programs and, when such applications are submitted provide input into the review thereof.
  10. Encourage appropriate conservation strategies, best-practice, and sustainable agricultural activities.
  11. Address any other issue referred to it by the Town Board or other local agencies having to do with agricultural related activities.
  12. Recommend to the Town Board reasonable and desirable changes to this listing of responsibilities.
Adopted:  6/25/14

AMENDMENT TO THE AG COMMITTEE RESOLUTION:
RESOLUTION 2015-66:


RESOLVED that the Ulysses Town Board amends resolution # 130 passed on June 25, 2014 that formed the Town of Ulysses Agriculture Committee to replace the following sentence:

"A Town Board member will serve as an ex-officio membership shall consist of representatives from the Town Board, Planning Board, Town Staff, and Cornell Cooperative Extension and will only be eligible to serve on the committee while he/she holds the Town office.",
With the following new section:

"A Town Board member will serve as an ex-officio member of the Agriculture Committee. Other ex-officio members shall consist of representatives from the Planning Board, Town Staff, and Cornell Cooperative Extension. An ex-officio member is only eligible to serve on the committee while he/she holds the Town office."

Vote: 3-0
Date Adopted: 3/24/15