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Thread: Defining agricultural operations

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2001
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    Elmira, Ontario, Canada
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    Defining agricultural operations

    Over the last year of two, farmers in my area have been changing to find more profitable ways to operate. As a result I have heard a number of times that we need to 'Redefine Farming', to which I ask what that means... but no one has an answer. Generally, it somewhat means that they want to have more commercial uses.

    So what are your definitions of
    Farming
    Nursery
    Commercial Greenhouses etc.
    and in agricultural areas what do you allow for commercial operations.

    We allow farms, that can as an accessory use sell what they grow, and we allow what be call On-Farm businesses (which are related to farm size and allow commercial and industrial uses that support the agricultural area).

    Our definition of farming is pretty standard, but we do not allow commercial greenhouses.

    So tell me about your regulations...
    "your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part!"

  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Here's Bar Harbor's - I think ours are slightly unnecessary and overkill and should be simplified but it's low on the priority list for me to change - but I do think this method works if you want to really control the details of agricultural activities becasue you can allow some practices in some zones and not in others, etc.

    AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITY -- Land clearing, tilling, fertilizing, including spreading and disposal of manure and manure sludge, liming, planting, pesticide application, harvesting of cultivated crops, pasturing of livestock, poultry and other similar or related activities, but not including construction, creation or maintenance of land management roads or forest management or timber harvesting activities. Noncommercial gardens are not considered agricultural activities, regardless of size. [Amended 11-5-1991; 11-4-2003]
    AGRICULTURE, AVOCATIONAL -- Farming, raising of animals or crops as an accessory use to one's primary residence which is greater than the intensity of homestead agriculture but less than the intensity of commercial agriculture; or, farming, raising of animals or crops on a site other than one's primary residence and of an intensity less than that of commercial agriculture. [Added 11-4-2003]
    AGRICULTURE, COMMERCIAL -- Production of crops or animals and involving more than five acres of cultivated soil or keeping of more than 100 poultry or other animals raised for meat or other by-product. [Added 11-4-2003]
    AGRICULTURE, HOMESTEAD -- Minor crop raising and animal husbandry as an accessory use to one's primary residence that does not involve tilling of more than one acre of soil, or keeping of more than 20 adult poultry and/or five hoofed animals; raising or keeping of swine is not considered homestead agriculture. [Added 11-4-2003]
    FARM AND FOOD PRODUCTS -- Any agricultural, horticultural, forest or other product of the soil or water, including but not limited to fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy products, meat and meat products, poultry and poultry products, fish and fish products, grain and grain products, honey, nuts, maple products, apple cider, fruit juice, wine, ornamental or vegetable plants, nursery products, firewood and Christmas trees. [Added 3-24-1998]
    FARMERS' MARKET -- A building, structure or place used by two or more farmers for the direct sale of farm and food products to consumers, at which no seller may sell a product unless at least 75% of the product offered by that seller was grown or processed by that seller or under that seller's direction. A product not grown or processed by a seller must have been purchased directly from another farmer. [Added 3-24-1998]
    GREENHOUSE, COMMERCIAL -- An enclosed building, permanent or portable, which is used for the growth of small plants to be sold at wholesale or retail.
    GREENHOUSE, NONCOMMERCIAL -- An accessory building to a residence designed or used for the growth of small plants.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    montana
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    When I read "redefine farming", I think of changing to regs to allow farmers more room for value-added products. Examples could be allowing small bed and breakfast operations for ag-tourism related projects, updating home-occupation definitions to allow for more on-the-side related businesses to supplement farm income, etc..

    that's how we generally talk about it in SW MT, though with our lack of regs, i don't have any official definitions to give you.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by vaughan
    When I read "redefine farming", I think of changing to regs to allow farmers more room for value-added products. Examples could be allowing small bed and breakfast operations for ag-tourism related projects, updating home-occupation definitions to allow for more on-the-side related businesses to supplement farm income, etc..

    that's how we generally talk about it in SW MT, though with our lack of regs, i don't have any official definitions to give you.
    that is a great idea!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    From my fair County Zoning Ordinance:

    17.20.200 Use group 17.
    List of uses permitted in the A, AIR, and CON districts, which meet the requirements of that zone:
    Agricultural operations
    Crop and tree farming
    Forestry operations
    Greenhouses and nurseries
    Seasonal roadside stands for agricultural products

    17.20.210 Use group 18.
    List of uses permitted in the A, AIR, and CON districts, which meet the requirements and restrictions of that zone:
    Animal and poultry raising
    Agricultural workshops or repair shops, for owner's agricultural equipment, located on the same lot with the owner's residence
    Boarding/breeding kennel
    Cattle and dairy ranches
    Livery stable
    Livestock grazing
    Riding stables or guest ranches
    Veterinary clinic
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Up North
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    My municipalities definitions are as follows. In addition, our Council has created policy to encourage home businesses, especially in rural areas. These can be farm related, but don't have to be.

    Agriculture means all forms of farming except for intensive livestock facilities. See also Intensive Agriculture, Intensive Livestock Operation, and Confined Feeding Operations.

    Confined feeding operation has the meaning given in AOPA, and in particular an operation of the size listed in the Agricultural Operations Part 2 Matters Regulation, AR 257/2001, attached hereto as Schedule B.

    Extensive Agriculture means the growing of crops and the grazing of livestock.

    Farm building means a structure located on a farm, other than a dwelling.

    Greenhouse includes the sale of gardening and nursery related products.

    Intensive
    agricultural operation means the cultivation of crops on a small area of land, managed so as to generate a higher return per acre than extensive agriculture, and includes but is not limited to market gardens, tree farms, and the breeding and training or horses, but does not include intensive livestock operations.

    Intensive
    livestock operation means and activity and its associated buildings where livestock are confined at a density of at least one animal unit per 2,000 square feet for the purpose of breeding, sustaining, growing, or finishing by means other than grazing, but at a smaller scale than a confined feeding operation. It does not include a seasonal feeding site confining livestock from November to May, or an area used for short term assembling, sorting, branding, or health management.

    Market gardening means the commercial production of crops in greenhouses or under intensive conditions.

    Policy 1.8 Council will encourage on-farm processing of agricultural products, and will amend the Land Use Bylaw as necessary to allow activities which add value to farm products. On land zoned Agricultural, activities using only family labour will not need to obtain a development permit.

    Home businesses: With more non-farm people living in rural areas, and with farmers looking for other sources of income, there is an increased number of home-based businesses. These provide jobs and income and some tax revenue, but they can be unpopular with the neighbours if they create extra traffic or cause unsightly premises.

    Policy 5.6 Home businesses will be allowed provided they have no significant off-site effects. Rules may be tighter in multi-lot residential subdivisions, and looser in agricultural areas

  7. #7
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Greensburg, Kansas
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    Blasting rock for sale, stating that you will later fill the pit with water and stock fish, is agricultural...KS Attorney General opinion.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
    Registered
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    Elmira, Ontario, Canada
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    We already allow bed and breakfast operations, and we allow On-Farm Bunsinesses. The On-Farm businesses allow for commercial and industrial operations that support agriculture (examples of which are many), as part of that we also allow wood working operations.

    So I am not sure where the next step in re-defining agricuture is. It appears many people in our area think that involves allowing market garden stores, and garden centres etc...
    "your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part!"

  9. #9
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Edmonton
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    Strathcona County, Alberta has a number of new intiatives allowing for tourism (such as b&bs) and also new intensive agriculture for specialty crops (e.g. greenhouse production of produce we would normally have to ship from tropical or subtropical climates). It has been quite successful in recent years. The Land Use Bylaw (aka Zoning Ordinance) is on their website, as well as their Municipal Development Plan (aka Comprehensive or General Plan), and both documents include defninitions, regs and policies regarding the shift in focus to new types of ag development.

  10. #10
         
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    Chicago, Illinois
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    Allowing commercial nurseries sounds like the next logical step, be it crop nurseries or horticultural nurseries. Sold locally it will have the added benefit of more flowers and therefore assumably a 'prettier' city. To factor in a slightly unrelated thing but still a benefit, many nurseries and garden centers in my area, and I do mean many, say 3 or 4, hire many mentally or physically disabled/handicapped individuals to work along with non-diabled individuals to help them be someone self supportive, to feel like and in fact learn to be part of the everyday world. I don't know if you have a problem with this at all to begin with, but I assume you're talking small town/towns and my experience with small towns is there isn't much for people with C.P., down syndrome or Autism to do because they are such a small part of the population.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian UKPlanner's avatar
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    Jan 2006
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    London, UK
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    UK Farmers

    We have similar problems over in the UK. We call it agricultural diversification. Before I continue with the similarities and how we cope, let me know if they are of interest?

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