DURHAM AGRICULTURAL COMMISSION
Laura Francis, Town of Durham
ESTABLISHED: By Ordinance adopted June 22, 2009
CHARGE/DUTIES: The Agriculture Commission shall be an advisory board to the Board of Selectmen with the following charges and duties:
A. Information - To serve as a conduit between non-profit agencies, civic organizations, municipal boards and commissions, elected officials, and local farmers. To serve as an agricultural clearinghouse by creating an informational website and map of local farms. To chart land use in Durham to support a balance between agriculture, preservation and other land uses.
B. Education - To recommend changes to language and practices across town departments and other boards and commissions regarding a local definition for agriculture, farming and farms. To educate town government about agricultural laws, such as Right to Farm, and legal issues regarding farm machinery, buildings and operations. To provide information and guidance on agriculture-related issues—such as zoning, inland wetland, public works and others—to town departments and other boards and commissions as necessary. To act as a sounding board / provide review / to town departments, boards and commissions concerning the impact of proposed town policies on farms. To support young farmers and new farmers. To support local, regional and state vocational agriculture education programs.
C. Conflict Resolution - To serve as a resource for information and non-binding advice for residents, established town committees and departments concerning the resolution of agriculture related conflicts.
D. Economic Opportunities - To identify innovative opportunities for farming additional lands in Durham. To promote opportunities for residents and local businesses to support and value farming. To serve as a conduit between non-profit agencies, funders, and local farmers. To work to create a climate that supports the economic viability of farming as a career in Durham. To create a sustainable agriculture community. To secure the land base necessary for future agricultural uses.
ELECTED/APPOINTED: Appointed by the Board of Selectmen
MEMBERSHIP: The Agricultural Commission will consist of 5 members and 3 alternates. Members and alternates will be appointed by the Board of Selectmen in accordance to Connecticut General Statutes and Town Charter. Insofar as practical, members appointed shall be representative of all groups interested in the management, protection and regulation of agriculture as defined by Connecticut General Statutes 1-1q, particularly those directly involved in agriculture. The failure of a voting member to attend four (4) consecutive meetings of the commission shall constitute cause for the Board of Selectmen to remove the member and fill the position thus vacated.
LENGTH OF TERM: Staggered 3-year terms, with initial appointments to be 3 members for 3 years and 2 members for 2 years; 1 alternate to be for 3 years and 2 alternates for 2 years. Members of the Commission shall serve without pay.