In today's lawsuit happy world, it's good to know where you stand legally.  And there's lots of government regulations that define those parameters when it comes to farming.  Remi Link with Cornell Cooperative Extension says some of those regulations actually protect you.

If you own livestock; cows, chickens, horses, etc, that doesn't make you a farmer.  Even though you are raising them to consume or for pleasure in the eyes of the law they are pets.  To qualify as a farm operation, Ag & Markets Law §301(11) defines it as:

“… the land and on-farm buildings, equipment, manure handling/processing facilities, and practices which contribute to the production, preparation and marketing of crops, livestock, livestock products as a commercial enterprise,”

This include horse boarding, greenhouses and logging operations.  You must be producing for profit.  Remi adds this is important in regards to the "Right to Farm Law."  Agriculture & Markets Law establishes Agricultural Districts within NY counties that protects farming operations from local government regulations that would restrict their ability to produce. The trick is making sure you are enrolled in the ag district in which you live.

Property can be a different animal altogether.  For instance your house isn't covered by the ag laws and neither are any buildings that aren't associated with the farming operation, such as your garage.  If you're renting land to producers, your still entitled to the protection if you enroll in the district and it can even provide some tax breaks.

Want more information about Farmland Protection?  Contact Remi Link at 315-736-3394 ext. 111 or email:
SOURCE:  Cornell Cooperative Extension

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