Agriculture_Markets
Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
 
  
 Farmland Protection Program

Farmland Protection Planning Grants

Overview

The Department provides state assistance payments to counties and municipalities to develop local agricultural and farmland protection plans in an effort to share the costs of locally-led agricultural and farmland protection activities. Agricultural and farmland protection plans should identify land or areas proposed to be protected and describe activities, programs and strategies intended to be used to promote continued agricultural use.

Municipal Planning Grants

The New York State Constitution grants home rule authority to municipalities (cities, towns, and villages), which includes a comprehensive right to regulate land use and zoning. Therefore, municipal farmland protection plans should focus on how to protect agricultural lands through municipal zoning, land use, and subdivision regulations, as well as to ensure that those laws are not unreasonably restrictive on farm operations.

Municipalities are eligible for grants up to $25,000 or 75% of the cost (whichever is less) for developing a local farmland protection plan. The local share of funding must be provided in at least 20% cash (no more than 80% in kind services) and any two municipalities may join together in application for a planning grant. Any municipality that has not previously prepared an agricultural and farmland protection plan is eligible for funding.

County Planning Grants

Counties, on the other hand, should focus more heavily on promoting the economic success of such farm operations. In addition to creating specific agricultural protection plans, funds may be used to update local planning documents, including but not limited to the agricultural section of comprehensive plans, land use regulations and zoning ordinances to ensure that these documents contain clear language and policies that are supportive of the local agriculture industry.

Counties are eligible for grants up to $50,000 or 50% of the cost (whichever is less) for developing a county agriculture and farmland protection plan. As in the case of municipal planning grants, the county share of funding must be provided in at least 20% cash (no more than 80%) in kind services) and any two counties may join together in application. Any county that has established an agricultural and farmland protection board and has not had an agricultural and farmland protection plan approved by the Commissioner in the last ten years is eligible for funding.

Click here for the list of dates county plans were approved to determine if your county is eligible for a grant to update the plan.

Summary Chart:

 

Counties

Municipalities

Focus

Agricultural economic development

Zoning, municipal land use, and subdivision regulations, along with strategies to strengthen the local agricultural community

Grant Maximum

50% of the cost, up to $50,000

75% of the cost, up to $25,000

Match requirements

Local share: 80% in kind, 20% cash

Local share: 80% in kind, 20% cash

Eligibility

Has established an agricultural and farmland protection committee AND
Has not had a plan approved in the last 10 years

Has not previously prepared a plan

Joint applications

Allowed with other counties
Funding equals no more than $50,000 times the number of counties applying jointly

Allowed with other municipalities
Funding equals no more than $25,000 times the number of municipalities applying jointly

Municipalities and counties interested in planning grant funds should contact John Brennan at john.brennan@agriculture.ny.gov. Current grant opportunity materials are available here.

Resources for County and Municipal Applicants

Examples of approved plans:

Guidance Documents:

Additional Agricultural Planning Resources:

One element of good agricultural planning is being aware of the opportunities the State of New York and other entities offer to the farmers in your county or municipality.