Supervisors Roll Out Agricultural Initiatives

August 15, 2007
Supervisor John Hendrick 446-4842
County Board

At the Eastside Farmers’ Market today, Dane County supervisors boosted some bold initiatives to support farming in Dane County - from transfer of development rights (TDR) to “Buy Local” to minimizing rural housing lots, eight ordinances and resolutions in all. “It’s no good preserving farmland if you don’t preserve the farmer,” said Sup. John Hendrick. “We need to do both and these ideas will help a lot.” Developing markets for local food, waiving certain county fees and moving ahead with TDR will put money in farmers’ pockets. “Town governments are eager to try transfer of development rights programs,” said County Board Chair Scott McDonell. “We need to get this ordinance passed to put the framework in place for local pilot projects.” "At the urging of the Board, Dane County last month began buying food at a regional produce auction," said Sup. Kyle Richmond, who chairs the Environment, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. "Our next step will be to adopt a "Buy Local" ordinance, making sure the county is doing all it can to put local workers and businesses first." The county can encourage wise use of land for rural housing by adopting a conservation subdivision ordinance, establishing a maximum lot size and repealing county rules that encourage super-sized rural lots. Sup. Lyman Anderson used to say “35 acre lots are the biggest waste of land there is.” Some items will be voted on Thursday, others will be introduced starting this week and voted on over the coming months. ###