As Jefferson County considers revising its Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan, taxpayers may ask what this plan is and why we need it. Farmers may ask the same question. A plan can be a critical resource and blueprint for our agricultural industry, which is important to our overall economy. Jefferson County’s existing plan was completed in 2002. Agriculture was a lot different then than it is now.
Jefferson County’s population also was different. In 2002, the county’s population was in decline. As of July 2001, the population was estimated at 109,535. As of July 2012, the population estimate for Jefferson County was 120,262. This represents the ninth-largest numerical gain and the largest percentage gain for all counties in the state since 2010. Natural increases, or more births than deaths, and net migration, international and domestic, contributed to the increase. Jefferson County’s population increase leads to more vehicle traffic, more houses and, because of the influx of many soldiers who are not from agricultural areas, a lot more people who do not understand or necessarily appreciate what farming brings to a community. [Read more...]