Planning for agriculture highlights the importance of agriculture and food production to livable communities. It establishes a public policy framework to support agricultural economic development and to protect and conserve farmland for current and future generations.
What is Planning for Agriculture?
Planning for agriculture is a policy process to help ensure a future for agriculture in a given place over a specified time period. It steers growth away from active agricultural communities, reduces regulatory barriers, encourages appropriate infrastructure development and new opportunities and addresses sustainable use of agricultural resources.
Planning processes typically result in plans, comprehensive documents that set forth goals and recommended strategies to achieve them. In the context of planning for agriculture, farms and farmland may be addressed in a stand-alone section of a comprehensive or master plan, be integrated into more typical sections (e.g., natural resources and economic development), or both. In some states and communities the planning process focuses entirely on agriculture or protecting agricultural resources.
Regardless of the form it takes, a plan is only as good as the policies that are enacted and the investments that are made to fulfill its goals. Therefore, it is important to design plans with implementation in mind.