Agriculture has been and continues to be a mainstay of the Seneca County economy. It is a dominant land use, covering nearly 119,000 acres – about 57% of the County’s total land area. The 516 farms identified in the Census of Agriculture generate $90.8 million per year in sales, a figure that increased 47%, adjusted for inflation, between 2002 and 2017. These revenues, in turn, support an extensive array of local suppliers and service providers, including, but not limited to machinery dealers, crop and nutrient management specialists, meat processors, veterinarians, and animal feed distributors. Additionally, about a third of the farms in Seneca County have on farm hired workers, including paid family members, who contribute to farm operations. These farms directly employ 760 people, paying $8.1 million in annual wages.
Although the County has a variety of agricultural operations and activities, two-thirds of its farms are classified as grain and soybean producers, beef cattle farms, fruit (grapes) growers, and dairy operations. In 2017, Seneca County ranked second of all counties in New York State in the value of hogs and pigs sold third in the sales of sheep, goats, and their products; and fifth in the sales of grains, oilseeds, and dry beans. It also ranked third in the state, after Chautauqua and Yates counties, in grape production.
Seneca County Agricultural and Farmland Enhancement Plan
The Seneca County Board of Supervisors adopted the Agricultural and Farmland Enhancement Plan on February 8, 2022
The mission of this Seneca County Agricultural and Farmland
Enhancement Plan is to provide information and strategies that can be
used short and long-term to enhance the economic success of agriculture
in Seneca County and preserve the land upon which it depends.
Agricultural Enhancement Board
The Board meets the 1st Wednesday of the month when there are matters they need to discuss or action needs to be taken. Contact Seneca County/Cornell Cooperative Extension at (315) 539-9251 (x109) for further information.
In 2019, Seneca County was awarded a grant through NYS Dept. of Agriculture and Markets to update its “Farmland Protection Plan.” The Seneca County Agricultural Enhancement Board (AEB) as Steering Committee has completed work to develop a county-wide plan designed to enhance agriculture in the County.
Peter DeCloux – Farmer
Doug Freier – Farmer
Harriet Haynes – Seneca County Planning Department
Brad Huffines – Farmer
Lisa Keshel – Seneca County Real Property Services
Ralph Lott – Board of Supervisors Representative
Rodman Lott – Farmer
Ros Parks – Farmer
Michael Reynolds – Seneca County Soil and Water Conservation District
Chris Tarr – USDA
Julie Thompson – Farmer
Judy Wright – Seneca County Cornell Cooperative Extension
Help Support Local Agriculture
Shop Local Made In NYS Products
Be Aware of slow moving farm equipment
There are 3 agricultural districts in Seneca County
The agricultural district review process has started with Agricultural District #6. The review of agricultural districts #8 and #12 will follow. Property owners interested having land added to or removed from should contact Harriet Haynes at (315) 539-1723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.