USDA Seeking Applications from Farmland Protection Organizations
EAST LANSING, Dec. 19, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is encouraging established farmland protection organizations to apply for financial assistance through its Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP). Organizations must submit an application by March 7, 2014 to be considered for funding.
Farmland protection organizations purchase development rights or easements on agricultural land. Landowners selling their development rights retain ownership and continue farming their land but it cannot be diverted to non-agricultural use. Through FRPP, farmland protection organizations can receive up to 50 percent of the cost of purchasing easements from landowners.
Entities eligible for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program include state, tribal, or local governments and non-government organizations that meet specific requirements. The entities must have an established farmland protection program, have the authority and capacity to hold, monitor, manage and enforce easements; and have funds to match the Federal contribution.
Landowners interested in selling the development rights of their agricultural land should contact their local farmland preservation organization. The USDA does not directly purchase development rights from landowners through the FRPP.
Organizations interested in applying for FRPP financial assistance should apply at their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office. A list of NRCS offices in Michigan is posted online. For more information about FRPP visit a local NRCS office or go to www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov.