LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - A new survey is giving Lewis County farmers a voice; one that will be heard by state officials.
The Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board is asking farmers “how can we help?”
As part of a Lewis County Agriculture Enhancement Plan update, they’re sending surveys to farmers, farm land owners, and agricultural businesses to identify goals and policies that would improve the field.
“The ideal situation is to find three or four main ways that we can help our local farmers. We understand that we can’t always rely on New York State or federal regulations to really assist us or to give us a break so we’re really trying to find local ways to help our producers our farmers and our ag businesses,” said Casandra Buell, Lewis County Senior Planner.
Lowville Farmer Joe Shultz has already filled out the survey and is encouraging others to do so as well.
“I think its important because the last plan was done in 2004. And although its probably happened slow, things have changed dramatically in the ag industry just within our county,” said Shultz.
Of the surveys they’ve gotten so far, some popular ideas are to improve infrastructure, agriculture education, and maybe even bring more processing plants to the area.
“They would really like to bring a maple bottle processing plant to Lewis County,” said Buell.
Once the surveys are finished, the information will be compiled and sent to higher-ups in Albany for review. That could lead to more grants and updated policies for local farmers.
“Its gonna be able to create more of an awareness of the importance of agriculture in Lewis county and the more people we can get to participate in the survey, the wider range of ideas and questions that would be answered,” said Schultz.
To participate in the survey, go to the county website, or you can call Lewis County offices to request a physical copy.
The deadline to submit is January 24, 2020.