Chester County is at a unique crossroads. It is both a suburbanizing county in the Philadelphia metropolitan area and home to one of the nation's most vibrant agricultural economies. Its farms are sustained by a healthy mix of climate, soils, operator characteristics, and immediate access to some of the largest and wealthiest consumer markets in the eastern United States.
Building on these strengths is an imperative element of this project, but it must also account for the undeniable challenges of farming in an urban-influenced community. ACDS plans to guide and direct county stakeholders in an engaged process that strengthens agriculture and reinforces its role in building healthy communities and a sustainable and appropriately scaled economy.
The project will develop through an iterative process that gathers information about the agriculture economy in the county. Statistical data and interviews with farmers, agribusinesses, policymakers will inform analysis from which the project team will develop recommendations and strategies. To provide the best possible solutions, the community should be engaged in both the data-gathering stage and implementation.
This strategic planning project is taking place alongside several other planning initiatives in which farmers and agribusinesses may be asked to participate. These include the following.
Each of these studies plays an important role in the future of agriculture and our communities. We would ask for your participation in each of these. Be patient with all involved as we endeavor to work through the projects simultaneously.
ACDS and the local steering committee will be reaching out to many people for interviews, focus group participation, and surveys. Please consider ways you can be involved. Keep your eye on this space for news about the project and ways to participate. If you have any questions, please contact Hillary Krummrich at email@example.com or Anna Jensen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chester County Ag Task Force, an initiative of the Chester County Ag Council, is a group of agricultural producers and support professionals that work in collaboration to highlight the importance of our agricultural industry to the local economy and to support the various agricultural sectors throughout the county. The Ag Task Force members bring insight and experience to the group on many aspects that impact the agricultural industry. This expertise includes workforce development, technical assistance to farmers, tourism, promotion and advocacy, and farmland preservation in addition to the producer experience.