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Agriculture Economic Development

The Agriculture Economic Development (AED) program has a unique history.  Madison County has a strong agricultural community who in 2005 named “Agricultural Economic Development” as one of four main goals of Madison County’s Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan.  The Farmland Protection Board decided to focus the goal: to “employ an Agricultural Economic Development Specialist to provide leadership and coordination for agricultural development and expansion”.

In January 2006 a committee formed to identify the county’s ag economic development needs, and to determine how an AED specialist might best serve Madison County’s agricultural economy. This committee proposed that the AED specialist be tasked with developing projects that would support and encourage a viable County ag economy.  By December 2006, the Madison County Board of Supervisors approved the funding for the AED Specialist position. The AED Specialist is housed at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County in Morrisville. The Agriculture Advisory Committee, as a committee of the Farmland Protection Board, was formalized and charged with setting and directing the AED program.

The AED program’s mission is:

To maintain, develop, and promote a viable agricultural economy that benefits Madison County.

The primary priority for achieving this mission is to market Madison County’s agricultural products and services by creating market opportunities and encouraging value-added enterprises.  As a secondary priority,  AED strives to maintain an appropriate agricultural land base to support a viable agricultural economy in Madison County by assisting existing Madison County farmers and attracting and supporting new farmers.

To date, the AED program has accomplished this mission through several diverse initiatives.The AED program has helped to launch several agricultural enterprises in Madison County by targeting assistance to value-added projects and agricultural start-ups through activities such as grant writing, workshops, and technical support.  The AED program continues to work hard to keep farming viable in Madison County and draw public support to the county’s many agricultural ventures.

Last updated April 24, 2019