"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.
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.
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
Supply chain internships
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