Agricultural Environmental
Management

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> Agricultural Environmental Management
> What is AEM?
> A Five-Tiered Approach
> Who is AEM for?
> Resources
> How Does AEM Work?

Quick Links

> Agricultural Environmental Management
> What is AEM?
> A Five-Tiered Approach
> Who is AEM for?
> Resources
> How Does AEM Work?

Agricultural Environmental
Management

The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District would like to connect with Hamilton County farmers and agricultural producers to inform them about the benefits of participating in our Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program. The primary goal of AEM is to protect the freshwater resources of Hamilton County while supporting the different agricultural pursuits of Hamilton County residents.
Agricultural Environmental Management Hamilton County
Dairy Cow in Field overlooking lake

What is
AEM?

AEM is a voluntary, incentive-based program that helps farmers and producers make cost-effective and science-based decisions to help achieve business objectives. The program is led by local Soil and Water Conservation Districts across New York State with a focus on local and watershed-wide environmental concerns, farm-specific conservation practices, and individual farm business objectives.

Farmers work with local resource professionals to develop comprehensive farm plans using a five-tiered process. AEM is designed to work with farmers to further protect important natural resources. By participating in AEM, farmers can document their environmental stewardship and further advance their positive contributions to their communities, our food systems, the economy, and the environment. For more information visit the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets website.

Who is
AEM For?

Many agricultural operations are eligible, including:

  • Maple syrup producers
  • Forestry
  • Green houses
  • Fruit, vegetable or tree farms
  • Horse, dairy or other pastureland
  • Riding stables
  • Hay fields
  • Vineyards
Agricultural Environmental Management New York State
Farm with Adirondack mountains in background

How Does
AEM Work?

All farmers and producers, large or small, are encouraged to join our AEM program. Being part of the Hamilton County AEM Program qualifies you to receive assistance in developing a plan that is best for your operation and our freshwater resources. AEM is voluntary and confidential.
The AEM framework is designed to help farmers/producers make environmentally conscientious decisions about their land and address natural resource concerns. We will help you achieve your business objectives while ensuring that local, state, and federal water quality goals are met.

The AEM
Five-Tiered Approach

AEM uses a five-tiered, voluntary approach to (1) gauge interest, (2) assess existing stewardship and environmental concerns, (3) develop farm-specific conservation plans, (4) implement the best management practices identified in the plan, and (5) update plans and conservation practices over time.
Corn Field Under Blue Sky
  • Tier 1: District staff will meet with farmers to fill out a short questionnaire to establish basic information on the farming operation and identify potential natural resource concerns, opportunities and farmer interest.
  • Tier 2: Worksheets help farmers understand and document current environmental practices while assessing potential environmental concerns.
  • Tier 3: Local teams of resource professionals help farmers develop environmental farm plans to address concerns identified in Tier 1 and 2.
  • Tier 4: AEM partners provide technical, educational, and / or financial assistance to help farmers implement priority practices from their Tier 3 environmental farm plans.
  • Tier 5: Opportunity to evaluate and update plans and / or implemented practices to ensure continued environmental conservation and farm viability.

For more information contact Jaime Parslow, District Technician.