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Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM)

AEM LogoAEM is a voluntary, incentive-based program that helps farmers make common-sense, cost-effective and science-based decisions to help meet business objectives while protecting and conserving the State’s natural resources. Led by your local Soil and Water Conservation District, AEM employs a five-tier approach. Completion of Tier 2 (or higher) is required within the past three years.

  • Tier 1 is a short questionnaire that summarizes current farm activities, future plans and identifies environmental conservation interests.
  • Tier 2 includes an on-site assessment with a member from the AEM team to help farmers understand and document current environmental practices while assessing potential environmental concerns.
  • Tier 3 (optional for the New York State Grown & Certified program) consists of conservation planning to address concerns identified in Tier 1 and Tier 2.
  • Tier 4 (optional for the New York State Grown & Certified program) is implementing the environmental farm plan developed in Tier 3.
  • Tier 5 (optional for the New York State Grown & Certified program) is the plan and program evaluation to ensure continued environmental conservation.

To begin the process, contact your county's Soil and Water Conservation District Office.

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