Agricultural Enterprises


Introduction to Agricultural Enterprises

The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (AAFM) and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), which focuses on land use planning and development through its Smart Growth Designation Programs, are working together to consider how to best support Vermont’s agricultural industry, and effective ways to provide education and technical assistance to farmers, municipal officials that plan for development, and service providers.  This work resulted in the Agricultural Economic Development: Local Land Use Planning and its Effect on Diversified On-Farm Enterprises, which addresses challenges to and opportunities for planning and regulatory implementation that encourage agricultural economic development in our rural areas. 

This process began in 2012 with DHCD’s response to Act 59 and resulted in the Act 59 Report to the legislature. The AAFM was a stakeholder in this process and agreed with the broad recommendation in the report to continue the discussion on how farm based agricultural enterprises fit into the definition of “farming,” among other recommendations. 

In spring 2014, the AAFM conducted a survey engaging landowners; officials at the municipal, state and regional levels; farm service providers; and business owners to help the Agency understand the values placed on and the various benefits of keeping land in production, and to further identify ways to support agricultural operations and maintain their profitability.  This survey resulted in the Agricultural Enterprises Report and further convening of the Agricultural Enterprises stakeholders.




Stakeholder Meeting Notes

Regulatory/Legislative Subcommittee Notes


Technical Assistance/ Education Subcommittee Notes


Other Agricultural Land Planning Resources