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Easton Digs Into Right-To-Farm Rule

The Easton farming community could get a boost if the town moves forward with a right-to-farm ordinance. Maple Road resident Laurel Fedor wrote a letter to the Board of Selectmen to urge the town to revisit the concept, which would allow residents to establish personal farming operations without fear of being sued for odors, noises or other problems.

Easton's agricultural commission ordinance promotes agriculture in town, but the right-to-farm ordinance would extend those rights to residents, said First Selectman Tom Herrmann . Easton's 2006 Town Plan notes the importance of farms in maintaining the town's rural character. "Few remaining farms are at risk due to escalating land values and the economic squeeze on farming," the plan states. "Creative initiatives will be needed if any of the town's extant farmland or its traditional farms are to be saved for future generations to experience this aspect of the town's heritage."

Monroe is in the middle of its own struggle to pass a right-to-farm ordinance. Resident Patrick O'Hara proposed the ordinance to stave off development and to give residents improved rights. Several towns have right-to-farm ordinances, and the state also has a law that gives certain rights to people with farming operations. For a town ordinance to carry weight, Easton would have to draft an ordinance that would be specific to its own needs.

The selectmen referred the issue to the Agriculture Committee to research a possible right-to-farm ordinance in Easton.

Do you think Easton should improve its protection of farmers with a right-to-farm ordinance?

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