I want to thank everyone for their attendance at the Canton Town Planning Board meeting on June 20. We realize how busy the agriculture community is this time of the year, and we appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts with us.
For those of you who were unable to attend, I will try to highlight some of the discussion. We heard of interest in biofuel production, supplied by crops grown locally. There is much interest in a regional location for the processing and marketing goods grown locally.
A large number of people supported the reintroduction of the zoning change that would allow agriculture use in a residential zone, which would include keeping non domestic animals and large- scale gardens.
The idea of promoting ag tourism was discussed as was education with the idea of keeping young people interested in agriculture and keeping them in the area. It was brought up that $250 million is spent on food in St. Lawrence County annually, and if we were able to keep only 10 percent of that in the county, it would have a tremendous impact on the local economy.
We had a very good discussion on how residents can ask the town board for change by attending meetings and sending board members letters and emails.
The economic developer was in attendance and offered her services to attempt to obtain some grant money to help with a regional processing center. Its important that anyone interested in this contact her office to obtain information about a letter writing campaign to support a grant.
There was a general consensus that another meeting would be fruitful, and mindful of how busy the ag community is, we will schedule another meeting during the winter months.
As those in attendance were told, the town of Canton Planning Board stands ready to assist in any way that we can to promote and sustain agriculture in Canton. If you like more information, please feel free to email me at email@example.com or call me at 854-0634.
The writer is the chairperson, Town of Canton Planning Board.