Farmland Protection

Wayne County Agricultural Development and Farmland Protection Plan Update - 2023

Wayne County is in the process of updating this plan with a focus on the economic impact of agriculture in the County.  Originally adopted in 1997 and updated in 2011, the Wayne County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan was updated and recommended by the Wayne County Agriculture Development Board, which includes six statutory farm or farm business members.  The members participated in the development of the plan, reviewed drafts and modified the Plan in accordance with their understanding of Wayne County and from information obtained from the survey, agribusiness interviews and public meetings and workshops. Approximately 60 people participated in the planning process.

Wayne County, New York will conduct a public hearing on September 19, 2023 at 9:05 A.M at  the Emergency Management Department, 7376 Route 31, Suite 2000, Lyons, NY for the purpose of hearing public comments on the proposed Wayne County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan update.

The final draft of the Wayne County Agriculture Strategic Plan is available online at  Following the public hearing, and if approved, the plan will then be sent to NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets for review and approval of the New York State Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets.

Agricultural Development & Farmland Protection Plan Update 2023

hay tractor and wagonThe Wayne County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board is updating the Countywide Ag Development & Farmland Protection Plan. LaBella Associates are the lead consultants preparing public presentations, surveys and reports that will outline the dynamic ag-based industries and properties in Wayne County. Click here for Ag Protection Plan Webpage.


  1. Farmer and Landowner Survey (Click here to take the survey)
  2. Feb. 16, 2023 - Economic Impact Presentation (Click here for Video of Zoom meeting
  3. Feb. 16, 2023 - Economic Impact Presentation (Slides)


  • LaBella Associates will lead a second public presentation and discussion on "Value-Added Agricultural Activties" on Thursday, March 16 at 3 pm.This will be a hybrid (Zoom and In-person) public workshop and will be hosted in the 2nd floor Conference Room at the Wayne County Office Building, 9 Pearl Street in Lyons. Registration is required.
  • A third presentation and public discussion will focus on the Solar industry and use of Agricultural Land on Thursday, March 22 at 3pm. This will be available by Zoom only. 

For more information on this plan update or other agriculture related programs visit our Agriculture Development pages or contact Ora Rothfuss. 

What is Farmland Protection?

Farmland Protection (purchase of development rights or purchase of Conservation Easement ) is only one tool for preserving farmland. It is often said that the most efficient way to preserve farmland is to operate profitable farm businesses. Undoubtedly this is true, but in areas with high development pressure, non-farm uses can outbid even the most profitable farm business. Farmland protection programs can help municipalities to retain their rural character while keeping the farmland affordable for the next generation of farmers. Several towns in Wayne County have successfully applied to state and federal programs for protecting farms in addition to several in eastern Monroe County.

In Wayne County, the most effective funding tool for Towns to preserve farmland with conservation easements has been the NYS Department of Agriculture Markets Farmland Protection program. You can read more about it online.

In 2009 the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets surveyed farmers that participated in the State Farmland Protection Program. View the results of the State Farmland Protection Program Survey (PDF).

The following presentation shows the basics of a farmland protection grant application and how an easement works.
View Farmland Protection presentation (PDF) 

Farmland Protection and Easement Workbook

Find out if an easement is the right management tool for your business by using the Farmland Protection  Planning Workbook (PDF). This workbook is designed to help landowners through the process of deciding whether or not to place an agricultural conservation easement on their farms.

View the NYS Dept of Ag and Markets model Standard Easement. The use of this easement should speed the closing process.