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SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
170 Bostwick Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 257-2340
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Tompkins County AEM Program

The Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program is a voluntary, incentive based program to help farmers make wise decisions on their farms that are cost effective, science based and environmentally responsible.  Farmers work with their local Soil and Water Conservation Districts to develop comprehensive and progressive farm plans through a tiered process outlined below:
 
Tier 1: Inventory the current activities of the farm, future plans and environmental concerns that may be present on the farm.
Tier 2: Assessment of and prioritization of environmental concerns and documentation of current good land practices.
Tier 3: Development of conservation plans to address the environmental concerns and opportunities present on the farm that are consistent with farm business planning
Tier 4: Implementation of plans with the assistance of outside financial, educational, and technical assistance
Tier 5: Re-evaluation and monitoring of existing practices to keep pace with changing farm goals, economic realities and environmental concerns.
 
The Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation District leads this program locally for the NYS Ag and Markets.  For more information on the statewide program please visit HERE.  The Board of Directors with input from local stakeholders has developed a 5 year strategic plan to guide the District's implementation of this program.  As a watershed based planning effort this program is designed to protect the natural resources of Tompkins County and the State of NY on a farm-by-farm basis.  The program is also voluntary, confidential, team oriented and science based making it a very productive program.