The County’s agricultural policies generally apply to all lands located outside of designated settlements, which make up roughly 87% of the County’s total land area. As such, in Oxford County, these policies are particularly important for ensuring that the County’s overall land resources are sustainably managed and protected for the long term.
Oxford’s agricultural sector is important, both locally and provincially, due to factors such as:
- the size and quality of the agricultural land base;
- favourable climate and high crop yields;
- the percentage of higher grossing farms and level of capital investment per farm;
- size, type and productivity of agriculture operations;
- impact on local and Provincial economies (employment, assessment, expenditures etc.); and
- being highly accessible to both Canadian and US markets.
As part of the review of the Official Plan, the agricultural policies are being reviewed and updated to:
- ensure they comply with applicable legislation, policies and guidelines;
- reflect local goals and objectives and address various issues and considerations identified through background policy research and preliminary consultation; and
- improve the readability and clarity of the policies and reduce repetition.
Key areas of local and provincial interest that will be considered as part of the updates to the agricultural policies include:
- protection of the County’s prime agricultural areas for long-term agricultural use;
- supporting viable and sustainable agriculture;
- ensuring the vitality of rural settlements; and
- providing increased opportunities to establish agriculture-related businesses, on-farm diversified uses and other small-scale rural businesses and maintain rural populations, where appropriate.
Opportunities for public input regarding the policy updates are currently expected to begin in the fall of 2021. If you would like to stay informed about these opportunities, would like to receive notice regarding the project or have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us.