Governor Kathy Hochul announced that nearly $50 million in funding is available through the Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program. The program, which celebrated a significant milestone of reaching 100,000 acres of farmland protected across the state in April, helps to support perpetual agricultural conservation easement projects to keep agricultural land in production and ensure the long-term viability of New York’s farming operations.
“New York’s Farmland Protection Program is a critical tool in our efforts to protect the state’s agricultural heritage and ensure a sustainable food supply for future generations,” Governor Hochul said. “With over 100,000 acres of farmland already protected through this program and with this new nearly $50 million in funding, we will continue to work with farmers to conserve land and keep farms in production – supporting our economy, our environment and the long-term stability of New York’s agricultural industry.”
For Round 19 of the State’s Farmland Protection program, $47.5 million will be awarded to projects that support the State’s top priorities, including food security, climate resiliency, and source water protection. In addition, the eligibility criteria for the program has been expanded again, now including three new categories: field crops, livestock or livestock products, and access to farmland. Access to farmland is specifically intended to help address ongoing challenges facing new and beginning farmers as well as retiring farmers in this area. Round 18 was the first time the eligibility criteria for the Farmland Protection program had been expanded, including the agroforestry, equine, and wine sectors to reflect New York’s diverse agricultural industry.
As part of the funding awarded, $4.5 million will be allocated to each of the State’s 10 economic development regions. Round 19 also continues the one-time incentive payment of 10 percent of the value of the agricultural conservation easement being required for projects that meet climate resilience or source water protection goals.
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