Newton County was chosen to participate in a free, state pilot program that will help it protect its agricultural land, and had its first meeting regarding the program this week.
Staff from the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission will help Newton County form a Local Agriculture Protection Guide during the next year.
Scott Sirotkin, director of developmental services for Newton County, said county officials met with Nina Kelly from the commission on Wednesday. The two sides discussed the 2050 Plan and how protection of agriculture, both land and farms, is an integral part of the plan.
Sirotkin said Kelly will research the 2050 Plan, which lays out how the county wants to develop during the next four decades. The next meeting for the program is scheduled for Nov. 17. The basic goal of the guide is to preserve agricultural areas through the use of planning and zoning techniques or economic development strategies aimed to help Newton farmers.