Assisting agricultural economic development first requires a thorough understanding of the diversity and extent of existing agricultural businesses in the county.
Support agricultural economic development through the innovation and evolution of agricultural business operations.
A leading industry in the county, agriculture serves as a critical component of the county's economy and a major land use category. A dominant part of the county's working lands, agriculture provides valuable resources and supports land-based livelihoods.Supporting innovation within agribusiness and the evolution of business models and land uses, while fostering cooperation within the agriculture community and beyond, are essential to continued success.
Building from existing programs, this effort would provide technical ordinance guidance to municipalities and connect the public to the local agriculture industry. There is significant need to help connect new and beginning farmers and operators, as well as existing producers, to land, business resources, and succession planning. This effort may best be served by development of a countywide agricultural economic development plan, through an inclusive process that crosses agricultural business sectors and focuses on identifying the best mechanisms to address land access and to help ensure that agricultural business operations are vital well into the future. Other significant goals of such a plan would be to use the process to grow understanding of challenges facing agriculture in Chester County and grow capacity within organizations already playing a role in supporting agricultural businesses. The Chester County Agricultural Development Council would lead these efforts in partnership with other agricultural organizations and municipalities.