2011 Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP)
The Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP) provides matching funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farm and ranchland in agricultural uses. Working through existing programs, we are working with State, tribal, or local governments; and non-governmental organizations to acquire conservation easements or other interests in land from landowners. USDA provides up to 50 percent of the fair market easement value of the conservation easement.
To qualify, farmland must:
be part of a pending offer from a State, tribe, or local farmland protection program;
be privately owned;
have a conservation plan for highly erodible land;
be large enough to sustain agricultural production;
be accessible to markets for what the land produces;
have adequate infrastructure and agricultural support services; and
have surrounding parcels of land that can support long-term agricultural production.
Entity must represent a State/local unit of Government or is a non-governmental organization described in section 501 c (3), 509(a)(2) or 509(a)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
A. Organizations must demonstrate their ability, both legally and programmatically to acquire, manage and enforce easements. A higher priority will be placed on entities that have extensive experience in managing easements.
The primary purpose of the easement must be for the protection of important farmland soils in Alabama including prime and unique farmland, soils of statewide importance and soils of local importance according to the identification of such soils maintained by the NRCS, Auburn, Alabama. Or, the parcel must be identified on the National or State Registry of Historic or Archaeological Sites.
The parcel must contain at least 50 percent prime, unique, statewide or locally important soils.
If there is highly erodible land on the parcel, the parcel must have an approved conservation plan prepared by the NRCS.
The parcel must be of sufficient size to allow for efficient management of the area, have an existing agricultural infrastructure, both on and off-farm, and have access to markets.
There must be a pending offer for the acquisition of the conservation easement, and at least half of the fair market value of the easement must be obligated for this purpose. The landowner can donate as much of the value as they wish toward the transaction; however, only 25 percent can be counted toward the entity's match.
There must be an appraisal of the property completed by a land appraiser certified in the State of Alabama. A Restricted Use Appraisal (the simplest appraisal condoned by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) will be accepted at the time the proposal is submitted. A full appraisal must be completed prior to the closing on the easement. Appraisals must conform to the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisition.
Duration of the easement must be perpetual easements.
Proposals demonstrating there is an urgent and immediate threat from development will be given higher priority.
Proposals demonstrating the close proximity to other agricultural land, infrastructure and agribusinesses that can support long-term agricultural production.
Parcels that are adjacent to, or in close proximity to other conservation land that help create large tracts of protected area will be given higher priority.
Proposals must be hand delivered or received in mail to the NRCS State Office, Auburn, Alabama, by 4:00 p.m. on January 15, 2011 (fax transmittals will not be accepted.) Original and seven copies (8 total).