The Agricultural Protection Act, passed by the State Legislature in 1992, strengthened New York State's Agricultural Districts Law. One component of the Act provides for county Agricultural and Farmland Protection Boards to develop county agricultural and farmland protection plans. The Department of Agriculture and Markets encourages the development of such plans through a matching grants program. This paper discusses the tools and strategies county Agricultural and Farmland Protection Boards may use in their plan development process. It incorporates an overview of the evolution of state policy, social and economic trends affecting agriculture throughout the state, and resources currently available which may be brought to bear on the local planning process. Using Orange County as a case study, the tools and strategies defined include both an agricultural structure/profitability component as well as land protection techniques.