Governor Cuomo announces more than $ 21 million to conserve nearly 7,900 acres of farmland in New York City

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that more than $ 21.3 million is being provided to strengthen New York’s agriculture industry through the Farmland Protection Implementation Grant program. The 23 awarded projects will protect a total of 7,890 acres of valuable farmland, helping to keep farmland in production, encourage diversification and ensure the long-term viability of New York’s farming operations. Since 2018, New York State has made more than $ 125 million available for farmland protection statewide.

“Agriculture has long been a vital component of the New York State economy – working to support our farmers and preserve our farmland makes good economic and environmental sense,” Governor Cuomo said. “The prizes awarded under this program will provide much needed support for farmers to conserve land and diversify their operations to expand market opportunities, so they can continue to produce and sell some of the best food available.

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets administers the Farmland Protection Implementation Grant program and its associated grant opportunities. Projects have recently been awarded under three initiatives.

Dairy Transitions Farmland Protection Initiative

More than $ 6.6 million will permanently protect 2,966 acres of farmland on eight New York State dairy farms as part of FPIG Dairy Transitions’ Farmland Protection Initiative. Dairy farmers continue to face challenges from the prolonged decline in milk prices, increasing the threat that viable farmland can be converted to non-farm development.

Through this unique grant opportunity, the proceeds from the purchase of development rights to agricultural land will allow farmers to diversify their operations or move their farms to the next generation at more affordable costs, while ensuring that the land is forever used for agricultural purposes. The following projects were awarded:

Capital region

  • PLAN OF Saratoga – $ 322,589 to protect the Barber Brothers dairy farm in Saratoga County.
  • Agricultural stewardship association – $ 748,363 to protect Deep Roots Holsteins and Bentley Farm in Washington County.

New York Center

· New York Farmland Trust – $ 4,239,305 to protect the Hourigan family’s dairy farm in Onondaga County; and EZ Acres North Farm and EZ Acres South Farm in Cortland County.

Finger lakes

· Finger Lakes Land Trust – $ 589,715 to protect Christiansen Farm in Yates County.

· Genesee Valley Conservancy – $ 788,950 to protect Coyne Farm in Livingston County.

Dairy Transitions’ Farmland Protection Initiative consisted of two rounds of funding, each worth $ 30 million. Previously, as of March 2021, $ 20.9 million had been awarded to support conservation easement projects at 22 New York City dairy farms, protecting 11,300 acres of farmland. More than $ 30.7 million was awarded in 2019, as part of the first round of the program, to 32 dairy farms, protecting 15,102 acres of farmland.

Farms in transition

More than $ 3 million will permanently protect 1,759 acres of farmland on five New York State farms outside of the dairy sector through FPIG’s Farmland Protection Initiative of Transition Farm Operations. As with dairy farms, these farms are vulnerable to many of the challenges facing the agriculture industry today, including trade disputes, changing consumer preferences and climate change, increasing the threat that valuable agricultural land can be converted into non-agricultural development.

As with the Dairy Transitions grant opportunity, the proceeds from the purchase of development rights to this farmland will allow farmers to diversify their operations or move their farms to the next generation at more affordable costs, while ensuring that the land remains in working order for agriculture forever.

Capital region

  • Agricultural stewardship association – $ 875,832 to protect Kingsley Farm and Duell Hollow Farm in Washington County.

New York Center

  • New York Farmland Trust – $ 534,966 to protect the Karlik farm in Onondaga County.

Finger lakes

  • Genesee Valley Conservancy – $ 1,250,509 to protect Hillcrest Farm in Livingston County.

Mid-Hudson

  • Dutchess Land Trust – $ 421,732 to protect Meadowland Farm in Dutchess County.

Announced in December 2019, the Farmland Protection for Farms in Transition Initiative has made $ 14 million available to non-dairy farms. Previously, in 2021, $ 10.8 million was awarded to support conservation easement projects at eight New York City farms, protecting 4,300 acres of farmland.

Agricultural Land Protection Implementation Grant Program – Agricultural Conservation Easement Projects

More than $ 11.7 million will permanently protect 3,165 acres of viable farmland on nine New York farms through this FPIG Round 18 grant opportunity. For the first time ever, project eligibility criteria in this cycle funding were adjusted to include the agroforestry, horse and wine sectors, reflecting the diversity of New York’s agricultural industry. In addition, other closely aligned state goals have been incorporated into the eligibility criteria to allow multiple goals for certain projects, including food security, climate resilience, and source water protection. Another first for the program, an incentive payment is now offered to participating landowners whose project specifically integrates climate resilience or protection of water sources. Soil health assessments are now also an eligible project cost.

Capital region

  • PLAN OF Saratoga – $ 4,141,990 to protect Questroyal North Farm, Ropitzky Farms and Vincek Farm in Saratoga County.
  • Agricultural stewardship association – $ 710,992 to protect the Berle farm in Rensselaer County.

Finger lakes

  • Genesee Valley Conservancy – $ 4,910,995 to protect Howlett Farm and Woodlawn Farms in Livingston County; and Table Rock Farm in Wyoming County.

Long island

  • Peconic Land Trust – $ 1,946,000 to protect the Condzella farm in Suffolk County.

Applications are still being accepted for this program. There is no application deadline and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until available funds have been allocated to eligible projects. Learn more about eligibility and how to apply.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said: “The Farmland Protection Implementation Grant program not only helps us preserve our valuable farmland, but also provide farmers with the resources they need to continue their operations, protect their way of life and keep putting food on the table for New Yorkers and locals. in the whole world. For our many growers and producers facing difficult economic, climatic and COVID-19 challenges, these awards will provide essential support for innovative projects. “

David Fisher, president of the New York Farm Bureau, said: “The farmland preservation grants announced today are another important step in ensuring that quality farmland remains in production for future generations. It also helps the New York farm family to invest and diversify their businesses if they choose to remain viable for years to come. New York Farm The Bureau has long valued the state’s farmland preservation program. “

The Agricultural Land Protection Implementation Grant program provides financial assistance to counties, municipalities, soil and water conservation districts, and land trusts to enable them to implement conservation activities. protection of agricultural land in accordance with local plans for the protection of agriculture and agricultural land. The most frequently funded activity is the purchase of development rights on individual farms. However, the program may also provide funding to enable other implementation activities, such as changes to local laws affecting agriculture, option agreements, and covering transaction costs of given agricultural conservation easements.

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