Farmland Protection Plan a first for Ballston

"I am confident that if we work together, we can come up with a plan that will preserve our heritage and our history and protect our future," said Pott.

Pott said some of the main concerns farmers communicated were whether or not there were other options besides state funded PDRs; if the plan could be drafted so as not to interfere with someone's private property rights; if it could offer protection through zoning and still encourage farming; intrusion of motorized vehicles like snowmobiles and ATVs tearing up cropland; problems of vandalism; and trespassing.

"There was a lot of concern about protecting against motorized vehicles where people using them are intent on being oblivious to the fact that they're damaging crops. What options does a landowner have? We don't have a police force, we're dependent on the county sheriff and they can't be everywhere at once," said Pott. "Someone put up 'no trespassing' signs and they were torn down; it's not cheap to post a piece of property. What do we do when someone's determined to hunt your land without permission, perhaps cut firewood on your land without permission. Lawsuit is a risk because there's a risk of someone being injured on your property; even if you haven't given them permission, we live in a society where people literally sue for everything."

One option farmers suggested was finding ways to better market and promote their products for sale. Pott said they don't necessarily want anything from the government, they just want freedom from government burden and intrusion and be able to continue doing what they do.

"There were ideas on promotion encouraging people to shop local and support local products. How to maintain that balance between the tax base that business development offers while protecting from the intrusion on farm space," said Pott.

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