[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of North Branford 5-15-2007 by Ord. No. 236. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Agriculture Commission is charged with undertaking efforts and providing advice that will help preserve and sustain the agriculture industry in North Branford and its lands; encourage pursuit of agriculture; and protect farmland through education, communication, conflict resolution, regulatory advice and promoting the economic viability of farming.
Education. The Agriculture Commission shall:
Recommend necessary changes to language and practices to other boards and commissions as necessary regarding agriculture, farming, and farms;
Educate Town government about agricultural laws;
Provide information and guidance on agriculture-related zoning issues;
Provide opportunities to support young farmers and new farmers; and
Support local, regional, and state vocational agricultural education programs.
Conflict resolution. The Agriculture Commission shall be available as a resource and serve in a nonbinding conflict resolution capacity to residents, established Town committees and departments as it relates to farming issues. The Commission will provide information to Town staff or boards and commissions as appropriate regarding complaints between farmers and neighbors, farmers and farmers, etc. and/or direct the complainants to other agencies or resources that may be available to assist.
Economic opportunities. The Agriculture Commission shall:
Identify innovative opportunities for farming additional lands in North Branford;
Promote opportunities for residents and local businesses to support and value farming;
Serve as a conduit between nonprofit agencies, funders, and local farmers; and
Create a climate that supports the economic viability of farming as a career in North Branford.
The Commission shall be composed of five members. The membership of the Commission shall be composed of one member from the Town Council and four electors. Three of the appointed electors shall be active or have an interest in farming or agriculture in North Branford. There shall also be two appointed alternates who shall be electors. Members and alternates shall be appointed without regard to political affiliation.
Of the four electors initially appointed, one shall be appointed for a term of one year, one for a term of two years and two for a term of three years. All subsequent appointments shall be for a term of three years. Members shall serve without compensation.
The members of the Commission shall meet and elect a Chair who shall preside over the call of its meetings and a Vice Chair who shall perform the Chair's duties in his or her absence. The election of officers shall take place annually in December.
The Commission shall from time to time, but not less often than annually, submit a report of its activities to the Town Council and may submit other such reports as may be requested from time to time.
The Commission has the authority to accept, on behalf of the Town of North Branford, gifts or bequests or other personal property or any donation to be used, as principal or income, for municipal and/or agricultural purposes. The Town Treasurer shall deposit and hold, as a separate fund, any donations or funds intended for municipal and/or agricultural purposes that are received from any source.