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Farmland Protection

Over two-thirds of Onondaga County’s land area is actively farmed land, forests and open space, with over 150,000 acres in farms alone. Our farm landscapes and vistas are one of the most prized assets in the region. The agriculture industry in the County also contributes hundreds of million of dollars to the local economy and creates rural job opportunities. 

Onondaga County is engaged in a number of farmland protection activities, including:

Onondaga County Agriculture and Farmland Protection PlanThis plan was created at the direction of the County's Agriculture & Farmland Protection Board, to support Onondaga County agriculture as an economic engine and to support preservation of our agricultural land base. The plan contains an overview of the agricultural community, mapping of priority agricultural lands, and strategies to promote:

  • New agricultural economic development opportunities
  • Protection of agricultural lands
  • Promotion of local agriculture
  • Support for the next generation of farmers and ag entrereneurs
  • Enhancing the relationship with the natural environment


Similarly, a central theme of the County's Plan Onondaga is protection of agricultural communities.

Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board (AFPB) – the Onondaga County Department of Planning serves on and provides staff support to the Board, created by the Onondaga County Legislature to oversee the Farmland Protection Plan, agricultural districts program, state grant program solicitations, and other farmland protection activities.

Agriculture Council – the Onondaga County Department of Planning serves on and provides staff resources to the Onondaga County Agriculture Council, created to promote and preserve the local agricultural community. 

NYS Agricultural Districts – Agricultural districts provide a combination of state landowner incentives and protections that discourage the conversion of farmland to non-agricultural uses. 

Farmland Conservation Easements Programs – Farmland conservation easements are voluntary legal agreements that restrict the development and subdivision of land, either as a donation or through monetary compensation, with the goal of preserving land suited for farming.

The New York Agricultural Landowner Guide is an excellent source for additional information on State farmland protection programs.

Click here for more information.

The best soils on the most viable farms are protected through

Farmland Conservation Easements.



Agritourism grant announcement

Announcing the Onondaga County Agritourism Grant Program!

Download the application for more info



Agricultural District 4
2024 Eight-Year
Review and Recertification



Farmland Conservation
Easement Programs



2023-24 AFPB Pre-Application


Contact the Onondaga County Department of Planning for more information.

Annual Agricultural District
Enrollment Period:

Owners may request to add

property to any agricultural district during January 1-30.




Onondaga County Ag &
Farmland Protection Plan

NYS Ag Landowners Guide (pdf)

2017 Census of Agriculture Onondaga County Profile

USDA National Ag Statistics Service Searchable Data




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