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This entry was published on 2016-09-16
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SECTION 284-A
Establishment of farm trails, apple trails and cuisine trails
Agriculture & Markets (AGM) CHAPTER 69, ARTICLE 23
§ 284-a. Establishment of farm trails, apple trails and cuisine
trails. 1. Marketing activities and designation of trails. The
department shall conduct statewide and regional marketing activities
which shall include, but not be limited to, the designation of farm
trails, apple trails, and cuisine trails.

2. Definitions. For the purposes of this section:

(a) "farm trail" shall mean an association of producers that are in
close proximity to each other, that sell in a cooperative manner a
complementary variety of farm and food products, and that utilize a map,
other directional devices, or highway signs to market products and
direct patrons to their respective farms.

(b) "apple trail" shall mean an association of producers that are in
close proximity to each other, that sell in a cooperative manner a wide
variety of fresh apples or other fresh fruits or processed apple or
other fruit products, and that utilize a map, other directional devices,
or highway signs to market their products and direct patrons to their
respective farms.

(c) "cuisine trail" shall mean an association of producers, that may
include a combination of producers, food or agricultural product
processors and retailers including, but not limited to, restaurants,
that are in close proximity to each other, and that sell in a
cooperative manner a complementary variety of unusual, unique, gourmet
or hard to find fresh farm and food products and foods prepared
primarily with such products for on or off premises consumption,
including but not limited to, herbs, meats, vegetables, salad materials,
wines or other alcoholic beverages and/or non-alcoholic beverages, cut
flowers, mushrooms, or fruits. Such trails may utilize a map, other
directional devices, or highway signs to market their products and
direct patrons to their places of business.

3. Designation of trails. (a) The department shall designate farm,
apple, and cuisine trails to promote greater agricultural marketing and
promotional opportunities for agricultural producers located in the
areas of such trails.

(b) Designations shall take into consideration geographic proximity
and alignment, thematic consistency, geographic or historical
consistency, density, economic feasibility, and the cooperation of
agricultural producers on the trails to be designated. The department
shall designate no more than fifteen farm trails, fifteen apple trails,
and fifteen cuisine trails. Criteria for developing and approving such
trails shall include:

(i) that the length of such trail, excluding laterals, is no longer
than seventy-five miles,

(ii) containing a sufficient number of producers to cost-effectively
attract patrons to such trail association's participating members,

(iii) incorporating considerations that maximize patronage of such
trail,

(iv) ensuring that proposed trail routes do not conflict with existing
scenic byways designated pursuant to section three hundred forty-nine-dd
of the highway law or wine trails designated pursuant to section three
hundred forty-three-k of the highway law,

(v) ensuring that trail designations are neither redundant nor cover
themes or subjects or have names that have already been used by trails
designated by the New York state scenic byways program or designated as
a wine trail pursuant to section three hundred forty-three-k of the
highway law,

(vi) ensuring that the trail route is designed and laid out so that it
is relatively simple and easy to follow for patrons and contains few
branches or laterals that dead end at one association member's business,
and

(vii) upon consulting with the commissioner of transportation, trail
designations that may support, augment, or reinforce the themes or
subjects already covered by the existing scenic byways system or wine
trails designated pursuant to the highway law.

(c) In making designations, the department shall consult with:

(i) the New York State Farmers Direct Marketing Association, the
advisory council on agriculture, and the New York State scenic byways
advisory board; and

(ii) the commissioner of transportation. The commissioner of
transportation shall cooperate with the department in carrying out the
provisions of this section. The commissioner of transportation, upon
receipt of a one time five hundred dollar application fee, is authorized
to permit the installation and maintenance of signs on the state highway
system for trails designated pursuant to this section. Such funds
received by the commissioner of transportation pursuant to this
subdivision shall be deposited pursuant to section eighty-nine-b of the
state finance law. However, to avoid confusion and to limit any possible
disruption of commerce, the trail designations called for pursuant to
this section shall be of a ceremonial nature and the official names of
such highway shall not be changed as a result of such designations.
Signage for trails designated pursuant to this section may include "farm
trail", "apple trail", "cuisine trail" or any other descriptive
language, approved by the department, in consultation with the
department of transportation, used to promote the marketing of such
trail products.

(d) Once approved, trail route designations may not be altered for a
minimum period of time of eighteen months; provided, however, that
additional participating members may be incorporated into already
existing designated trail routes. The department may review the
designation of any trail established pursuant to this section and review
such trail's effectiveness in attracting patrons or tourists, increasing
patronage of association member businesses, and expanding the marketing
capabilities of all trail members. The department, upon periodically
reviewing designated trails, may make suggestions to alter the route,
adopt revisions to the business management practices of such trail
association, or remove the designation of any such trail authorized by
this section.

4. Application for designation. (a) Any association of producers as
described in this section, upon payment of an application fee of two
hundred fifty dollars and completion of an application form, may obtain
from the department designation as a farm, apple, or cuisine trail, or
any other descriptive language approved by the department, in
consultation with the department of transportation, used to promote the
marketing of such trail products. Such funds received by the department
pursuant to this subdivision shall be deposited in the general fund. All
applicants must satisfy the designation criteria stated in subdivision
three of this section.

(b) The department, in approving any trail application and
installation of highway signage, if such signage is requested by the
applicant, shall consult with and satisfy all reasonable motor vehicle
safety concerns specified by the commissioner of transportation to
ensure that the trail designation, its route, or proposed signage does
not impede vehicular traffic or diminish motorists' safety on the state
highway system. The design of all highway signs must conform with all
uniform traffic control device regulations and must be approved by the
commissioner of transportation.

5. Application for federal monies. The department may apply for and
accept federal monies that may be available to support such a program or
funds from any other source to support this program. Upon approval of
the commissioner of transportation, trails designated pursuant to this
section may be eligible for and accept any federal highway aid or funds
that may be available to support such program.