Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica A. Chittenden

January 08, 2008

$500,000 to Help Towns Develop Farmland Protection Plans

Funding to Encourage 21 Towns to Include Farms in Local Land Use Plans

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today announced nearly $500,000 in funding to help 21 towns develop local agricultural and farmland protection plans. This is the first time that towns and cities were eligible to apply for farmland protection planning grants; only counties have been eligible in the past.

"One of the most important roles of a municipality is the regulation of land use," the Commissioner said. "This responsibility gives them the authority and opportunity to provide a supportive environment for agriculture. I applaud these 19 towns for taking the initiative to address evolving land use issues in their area and plan for the protection of viable and active farmland. It is their participation in the planning process and commitment to providing a supportive business environment for agriculture that will make smart growth a reality here in New York State."

The State’s Farmland Protection Program provides two funding sources – planning grants and implementation grants. Planning grants are being announced today and include a portion of the start-up funds in developing an agricultural and farmland protection plan. The implementation grants are used to help purchase the development rights on viable farmland.

The planning grants provide local municipalities with an economic incentive to develop local agricultural and farmland protection plans. These plans help maintain the economic viability of the State’s agricultural industry and its supporting land base and to protect the environmental and landscape preservation values associated with agriculture.

Any municipality, including cities, towns and villages, that are located within a county which has established an agricultural and farmland protection board, are eligible for farmland protection planning funds. These funds can provide up to $25,000 or 75 percent of the cost of developing a local protection plan, which ever is less.

Farmland protection plans should identify the location of farmland proposed to be protected, the value of that land to the local economy, the value of that land as open space, consequences of possible conversion, and the level of conversion pressure on the proposed land. To date, 48 counties have farmland protection plans in place.

Last month, Governor Eliot Spitzer announced nearly $35 million for farmland protection implementation grants; the largest amount of funding and greatest number of acres protected in the program’s eleven year history. With that announcement, New York has allocated more than $144.5 million out of the Environmental Protection Fund for farmland protection projects, assisting local governments and their project partners in 26 counties to help protect 50,400 acres on 241 farms. To date, only half of those project contracts have closed, protecting in perpetuity, 27,500 acres of farmland.

New York State has 7.6 million acres of farmland with 35,000 farms.



Town of Aurelius (Cayuga County) $25,000

Town of Batavia (Genesee County) $25,000

Town of Brutus (Cayuga County) $25,000
Towns of Callicoon & Delaware (Sullivan County) $50,000

Town of Cato & Ira (Cayuga County) $25,000

Town of Chatham (Columbia County) $25,000

Town of Eden (Erie County) $25,000

Town of Gorham (Ontario County) $15,000

Town of Junius (Seneca County) $18,750

Town of Lansing (Tompkins County) $25,000

Towns of Liberty & Bethel (Sullivan County) $50,000

Town of Lima (Livingston County) $25,000

Town of Lodi (Seneca County) $18,750

Town of Lysander (Onondaga County) $19,220

Town of Malta (Saratoga County) $25,000

Town of Parma (Monroe County) $25,000

Town of Pomfret (Chautauqua County) $25,000

Town of Sennett (Cayuga County) $18,225

Town of Wright (Schoharie County) $25,000

TOTAL $489,945

2008 Press Releases