Agricultural & Farmland Protection Board

New York State Agriculture and Markets Law empowers counties to create Agricultural and Farmland Protection Boards with a broad-based membership to bring together farmers and government officials, bring broader community goals to oversight of agricultural districts, bring appreciation of agriculture’s needs back to the broader community, and build bridges and bring together diverse perspectives.

Agricultural and Farmland Protection Boards may recommend the creation and renewal of agricultural districts, comment on “notices of intent” to undertake development projects in agricultural districts, and guide, assess and approve Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plans.

Greene County currently has one inclusive Agricultural District with 286 farms covering 38,333 acres.  Creation of an Agricultural District is intended to protect and enhance farm lands as both a viable segment of the local and State economies, and as an economic and environmental resource of major importance.  Agricultural operations within the district are the priority land use and afforded benefits and protections to promote the continuation of farming and the preservation of agricultural land.

A significant benefit of the Agricultural Districts Program is the opportunity for farm land owners to receive reduced property tax bills for land in agricultural production by limiting the property tax assessment of such land to the value of the land for agricultural production, rather than its full development value.

The Department of Economic Development Tourism & Planning manages all aspects of district creation, review and re-certification, working closely with the County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board and the County Legislature.

For further information, please contact Rich Schiafo,, (518)719-3290

Active Farmers Representatives

  • James VanOrden
  • Robert Kiley
  • Keith Jones
  • Matthew Story

Agribusiness Representative

  • Jerry Cunningham (Chair)

Agricultural Land Preservation Representative

  • Debbie Kavakos

Other Members

  • Jeff Flach, S&W Conservation District
  • Michael Bulich, Greene County Legislator
  • Vacant, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County
  • Karl Heck, Greene County Planning and Economic Development
  • Ray Ward, Real Property Tax Services