Chester County Ag Council Releases New Strategic Plan
Posted March 23, 2022
Chester County is both a suburbanizing county in the Philly Metropolitan Area, as well as home to one of the nation's most vibrant agricultural communities. Because of this, along with the intensifying competition for land use over recent years, the Chester County Agricultural Development Council and the Chester County Agricultural Task Force hired ACDS, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in economic development based in Maryland, to guide the planning process. The consultants interviewed farmers, agribusinesses, and policymakers, conducting surveys, and gathering information to develop recommendations and strategies for the newly released Chester County Agricultural Economic Development Strategic Plan (AEDSP).
The plan focuses on six strategic areas: Agricultural Markets; Business & Financing; Education & Outreach; Labor & Workforce; Land Access; and Zoning & Land Use. While each strategic area is distinct, there are overlaps among the 33 total recommendations as well. Altogether, these topic areas encompass a holistic and integrated approach that reflect what matters to Chester County's farmers and agribusinesses the most.
The strategies in the AEDSP also align with several fundamental goals of the plan, including to: mitigate issues that limit industry growth; harness opportunities that grow the agricultural economy; increase employment opportunities at all skill levels; remain a top agricultural-producing county in PA for years to come; and maximize county, local, and regional resources to support industry growth.
Whether it's mitigating concerns or making the most of opportunities, Chester County needs a plan to guide its agricultural economy into the future. Thanks to the hard work of our Chester County Ag Council, the AEDSP is a comprehensive plan that outlines how to sustain and grow a successful agricultural economy in the face of growth pressures, industry challenges, and limited resources.