Farming & Forestry
Supporting and Managing Rural Enterprises in Your Community
Many farm entrepreneurs are augmenting the agriculture focus of their businesses by also pursuing a variety of “rural enterprises” — activities on the farm that support the farm operation, but aren’t considered agriculture. This guidance provides general information on how municipalities can support rural enterprises and entrepreneurs while also managing the related impacts.
Sustaining Agriculture: Agriculture and Food System Planning
Planners, as community liaisons to other agencies and groups, can help develop policies and programs–from new land use regulations to the institutional purchasing of locally produced food–that support area farmers and improve the community’s food environment.
Sustaining Agriculture: Agricultural Land Conservation
As the importance of eating locally produced food has gained traction across Vermont, so too has the need to protect the agricultural land base, to support a strong and vibrant farm economy.
Sustaining Agriculture: Farmland and Property Taxes
The purpose of this section is to explain how farmland is taxed currently and what would happen in both the short term and the long term if some of the farmland protection tools available to communities were utilized.
Sustaining Agriculture: Local Regulatory Context
Agripreneurial activities often fall into a regulatory grey area. Fortunately, there are several approaches that a municipality can take to reduce the grey area and ensure that agripreneurial uses enhance the local landscape and economy.
Sustaining Agriculture: State Regulations
State laws in Vermont (Right-to-Farm and Act 250) have evolved to protect agricultural soil with a few gaps in consistency over the years.
Agricultural Incentive Zoning
Today, although agriculture is important to communities, it is facing significant challenges, not only from the increasing pressures of growth and development, but also from municipal regulations that may be inhospitable to many agricultural practices.
Preserving Rural Character: The Agricultural Connection
This technical bulletin aims to help communities understand the connection between preserving rural character and a prosperous agricultural sector. Like other small business operators, farmers need to be able to make money to support their families and pay their property taxes. Communities that encourage agricultural and forest-based business activities go a long way toward preserving rural character and open space, the hallmark of New Hampshire's quality of life.