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Albany County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board

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The Albany County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board (AFPB) was established by the County Legislature in 1993 pursuant to New York State Agriculture and Markets Law.

The Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board:

  • Advises the County Legislature on Agricultural Districts
  • Reviews rules, regulations, and government actions affecting areas located within Agricultural Districts
  • Makes recommendations about proposed actions involving government acquisition of farmland in Agricultural Districts through eminent domain
  • Requests reviews of state agency regulations that affect farm operations within an Agricultural District
  • Approves county agricultural and farmland protection plans
  • Works toward implementing recommendations in the county’s Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

The affiliations represented on the 11-member board are established in the Agricultural District Law, however, individual appointments are made by the County Legislature. The Board composition includes four active farmers and one agribusiness representative, the Chairman of the County Soil and Water Conservation District Board, a member of the County Legislature, a County Cooperative Extension agent, the County Planning Director, and the County Director of Real Property Tax Services. The board may also include a representative from an organization dedicated to agricultural land preservation, such as the Farm Bureau.

Current Board Members

  • Howard Zimmer, Chairman – Farmer, Town of Berne
  • Tom Della Rocco – Farmer, Town of Guilderland
  • Edward Kleinke – Albany County Farm Bureau
  • Laura DeGaetano – Albany County Economic Development, Conservation and Planning Department
  • Tom Gallagher – Cornell Cooperative Extension, Agriculture Program Leader
  • Paul Miller – Albany County Legislature
  • Harold Hahn – Farmer, Town of Guilderland
  • Maggie Alix, Director – Albany County Office of Real Property Tax Services
  • John O’Pezio – Agribusiness
  • John Santacrose, Chairman – Albany County Soil and Water Conservation District Board
  • Mark Stanton – Farmer, Town of Coeymans