All over Western New York farmers are preparing for the growing season.  Whether it's preparing the soil or planting seeds, the weather has been perfect over the past week or so and they're taking advantage.

It was earlier this week that I came upon this scene and you might be surprised where it took place.  It was about a mile from Niagara Falls Blvd. along Tonawanda Creek Road in the Town of Amherst.

I bet a lot of people had no idea there were farms in Amherst.  In fact there are a lot of them and to insure that they won't be gobbled up by development, Amherst is part of an Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan.  Since 1998 the Towns of Amherst, Marilla, Elma and Clarence have partnered in a strategy to protect farmland in their towns.

And now the Erie County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan encompasses 17 agricultural districts across the county.  The largest of those districts are:

  • Alden-Newstead
  • Marilla
  • Wales
  • Brant-Evans
  • Collins
  • North Collins
  • Concord
  • Sardinia
  • Holland
  • Clarence-Newstead

By far, Amherst is the most-populated town in Western New York and in a larger sense, other than cities, it's the biggest town north of New York City.  With all its people, homes, neighborhoods, office parks, stores and traffic, up in the northern part of the town there still are a large number of farms.

In a few months the land being cleared and prepared on this Amherst farm will be growing corn as it has for decades.  And it's nice to know this land will continue to remain cornfields for the foreseeable future.