Agricultural and Farmland Protection Program
The Agricultural and Farmland Protection program helps counties and municipalities plan for the future of agriculture in their communities; it then funds programs to implement those plans to keep agriculture strong and farmland in production.
Under Article 25-AAA of the Agriculture and Markets Law, the Commissioner is authorized to administer three grant programs focused on farmland protection. The Farmland Protection Planning Grant program, or FPPG, assists county and municipal (i.e., town, village, city) governments in developing agricultural and farmland protection plans which recommend policies and projects aimed at maintaining the economic viability of the State's agricultural industry and its supporting land base. The Farmland Implementation Grant Program, or FPIG, assists local governments, land trust organizations, and soil and water conservation districts in implementing farmland protection plans, including those created through FPPG. The Land Trust Grant program is directed at land trusts to encourage activities that will assist counties and municipalities with their agricultural and farmland protection efforts.
Farmland Protection Implementation Grant Projects
Since 2005, the Farmland Protection Implementation Grant Program (FPIG) has disbursed almost $90 million to more than 140 projects, protecting over 45,000 acres of viable agricultural land, including more than 18,000 acres of prime soils and another 7,000 acres of soils of statewide importance. The map above shows the approximate locations of those farms (zoom is limited since the locations are accurate only to the nearest zip code).
Farmland Protection Planning Grant Projects
The Department has approved plans in 53 counties since the Farmland Protection Planning Grants (FPPG) awards that began in 1994. The grant became available to municipalities in 2007, and since then, 77 towns have received FPPG awards to develop town farmland protection plans. The map above shows the towns and counties which have completed Farmland Protection Plans as well as those that have been awarded grants and are currently developing their plans.
The grants allow local governments to conduct agricultural inventories, determine ways to change zoning regulations to be more farm friendly, and create recommendations for agricultural economic development projects.