Press release from Boone County Conservation District
(Burlington, Ky.) The Boone County Farm Initiative will host their first forum on Tues., Oct. 5 at 7:00 p.m. in the Ferguson Room, Boone County Extension Center, 6028 Camp Ernst Road, Burlington.
This is the first in a series of forums being planned to discuss agricultural issues in Boone County. The topic for the forum is how tax assessments are made on agricultural property in Boone County. Our guest speaker will be Cindy Rich, Boone County Property Valuation Administrator.
The issue was identified from the comments received through the farm study that was conducted earlier this year. The study was presented to the public on Sept. 1. Over 100 people attended the event held at the Boone County Public Library, which included an open house and presentation of the study results. The study consisted of three parts: an agricultural industry profile, a Cost of Community Services Study, and a survey of agricultural landowners. A teen agricultural opinion survey is underway and results of that survey will be released in 2011.
The agricultural industry profile revealed that at 246.26 square miles, 47% of the county’s land is in farms. It is also home to a larger number of farms compared with both Kenton and Campbell counties, has more acres of land in farms, and a larger average farm size. In Boone County, 80.1% of farms were in three categories: other crop farming (217 farms); beef cattle ranching and farming (203 farms); and animal aquaculture and other animal production (126 farms). In terms of acreage, the top crop items in Boone County were forage, soybeans, corn for grain, tobacco and nursery stock. For livestock inventories, the leading products were: cattle and calves; horses and ponies; layers; all goats; and sheep and lambs. The study showed that using IMPLAN analysis, the total economic impact of production agriculture in Boone County, including indirect and induced effects is $24,634,020. The final value-added economic impact is $11,577,573 indicating that there is an additional $11.5 million in income in the county because of production agriculture.
The main finding of the Cost of Community Services Study (COCS) was that farmland and commercial land uses subsidize residential land uses in Boone County. This is consistent with virtually every COCS study that has been completed in the United States. A COCS study is essentially a case study of the net fiscal impacts of existing land uses on local budgets. It provides a snapshot in time of costs versus revenues based on current land use. COCS studies are based on a local budget for a particular year. The COCS study shows what services taxpayers receive from their local government and how local government revenues and expenditures relate to land use.
A survey of the agricultural landowners in Boone County was conducted to determine if programs to help strengthen the agricultural community would be welcomed and how to make them effective. The survey was mailed to 1669 landowners.
There were 340 respondents who provided information about themselves, their land use, their general plans for the future of the land and their views on agriculture in Boone County and their connection to it.
The study is posted on the Boone County Conservation District web site, http://www.boonecountyky.org/bccd/default.aspx or Web Portal: http://www.nkcd.org. A limited number of print copies are also available through the conservation district office.
The forums are being planned to further the goals of the Initiative to validate the place of agriculture in Boone County’s economy, support and enhance the agricultural industry, and promote the positive fiscal impacts and environmental and other benefits of Boone County’s agricultural community. Reservations are not required for the forum, but are appreciated to assist us in planning. Contact the Boone County Conservation District at 859-586-7903.