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.
County Council adopted the updated agricultural policies on May 25, 2022 and they are now with the Province for their review and approval. The policies will not come into effect until the Province makes a final decision and the Province could make changes to the policies before final approval.