Agriculture Task Force

"Agriculture is an important aspect of Wayne County’s economic life and its importance is expected to grow over the next several decades and be a major contributor to job creation, wealth building, and tax base."

--  Wayne County Agricultural Development Plan


A renewed interest in agriculture among youthful entrepreneurs is expected to fuel this growth while traditional sectors such as the dairy and beef industries transition into a new era of consumer-led development. These trends were recognized by the Wayne Tomorrow Agriculture Task Force and the Wayne Economic Development Corporation who, with the support of the Wayne County Commissioners, hired ACDS, LLC to assess the county’s agriculture and create an Agricultural Development Plan.

While the agriculture industry is in a less than optimal position, the county has strengths on which it can build to leverage improvement for the sector. These advantages include its tourism and recreation industries that draw high-income guests to the county, an emerging cohort of interested young and beginning farmers, a core of dairy farmers who are  passionate about changing their industry, and an underutilized base of forest products.

Recommendations

 Cornerstone 1: Develop an Entrepreneurial Culture

Cornerstone 2: Empower Local Investment in Entrepreneurs and Critical Business Cluster  

Cornerstone 3: Create an Innovative and Adaptive Future Workforce 

Cornerstone 4: Modernize Infrastructure to Encourage Greater Private Investment 

Cornerstone 5: Lead Regional Target Industry Development Projects.

An image of the cover of the Wayne County Agriculture Development Plan, featuring a picture of Wayne

Implementation Strategy

  1. Short Term
  2. Mid Term
  3. Long Term
  • Support existing and imminent entrepreneurial activity 
    • Dairy processing feasibility study 
    •  Livestock market development support 
  • Design and implement young and beginning farmer program 
    •  Land access programs
    •  Mentor-protégé
    •  Supply chain internships 
    •  Asset sharing 
  • Create a business plan for a cluster focused business development and financing program following best practice models such as Coastal Enterprises, Inc. and the Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation 
  • Create a new venture funding program 
    • Hold an investor conference
    • Submit loan fund development grant applications for technical assistance 
    • Integrate funding efforts with other WEDCO initiatives
    •  Support creation of peer-lending microloan platform 
  • Initiate infrastructure planning