Agriculture takes many forms in South Marysburgh and the County as a whole.
I believe that agriculture is a vital and key component of our economy and way of life which must be promoted and preserved.
The more mainstream cash crops of beef, sheep and dairy are supplemented with grape growing, wine making, beer making, cider making, distilling, market gardening, bees and their honey, cheese making, and Imany more.
Municipal Council has a role in supporting this diversity. I fully support this role.
Maintaining the rural and historic character of Prince Edward County is a top priority for the municipality. As part of that goal, The County is committed to promoting and supporting traditional agriculture, value-added agriculture and agri-tourism.
Some examples that are now supporting local farmers include:
Exemption of development charges on traditional farm structures
Promotion and marketing of agri-tourism and value-added agricultural products through our new destination marketing organization, Visit the County
Active workforce development and matching for farm labour through the Prince Edward County Job Fair and other initiatives
Participation in regional agri-asset inventory with Ontario East Economic Development Commission
The next Council will see a proposal for a Site Alteration bylaw which I strongly support.
We are one of the very few municipalites that does not have such a bylaw. This step will help protect agricultural land by respecting farmers' inherent rights under provincial law while preventing developers from destroying woodlands and other natural features before they file development applications.