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Registration Open for 5th Annual Niagara County Agribusiness Outreach Forum

by Niagara County Public Information Office
Tue, Feb 27th 2024 03:00 pm

The Niagara County Center for Economic Development today announced it will host the 2024 Agribusiness Outreach Forum on Friday, March 15 from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Training Center, 4487 Lake Avenue in Lockport.  This is a free event, but attendees must register at https://www.niagaracountybusiness.com/2024-ag-forum.

“It’s hard to believe this is already our fifth Agribusiness Forum and each year, it seems to get bigger, with more participants and more presenters,” said Michael Casale, Niagara County Commissioner for Economic Development.   “The fact is agribusiness is one of the most important sectors to the Niagara County economy and it’s also probably under the most duress.  People come to this forum looking for information, assistance and a chance to express their concerns and issues.”

During this event, participants will hear from industry experts on a variety of topics including Solar Solicitation – Know Your Rights; Climate Smart Farming; Planning for Retirement in Agriculture; Protecting Your Farmland for the Future; and Technology and Innovation in Agriculture. There will be a number of tables set aside to learn more about the latest grants, incentives and resources available with information from agencies like the Niagara County Center for Economic Development, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County, Niagara Small Business Development Center, NY FarmNet, Niagara County Farm Bureau, National Grid and the Niagara USA Chamber, among others.

In addition, there will be an opportunity to network with other attendees and agribusiness leaders and tour the Niagara County Veggie Van and the Oak Orchard Health Mobile Health Unit.  Lunch will be provided by Beans' Smokehouse.

“Agriculture continues to be an important sector of Niagara County’s economy, but the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is very alarming,” said Niagara County Legislature Chairman Becky Wydysh.  “According to the 2022 Census of Agriculture, there are 628 farms in Niagara County covering 121,516 acres or about 36 percent of the total land mass in the county. That means we lost 62 farms and nearly 19,000 acres of farmland in the last five years.   Forums like this and initiatives like our Agricultural Rights Advisory Panel are ways we can come together and support our agriculture industry.”