The Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP) provides matching funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farm and ranch land in agricultural uses. Working through existing programs, USDA partners 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, or have:
part of a pending offer from a State, tribe, or local farmland protection program
be privately owned
a conservation plan for highly erodible land
large enough to sustain agricultural production
accessible to markets for what the land produces
adequate infrastructure and agricultural support services
surrounding parcels of land that can support long-term agricultural production
There is a continuous, year-round sign-up for the program. NRCS in Maine has announced a second sign-up period for Fiscal year 2013 funding. Applications submitted by May 3, 2013 will be considered for funding in Fiscal Year 2013. Applications submitted after May 3, 2013, will be held for Fiscal Year 2014 funding consideration.