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News Release

South Carolina NRCS Accepting Applications for Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program

Columbia, SC, December 4, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in South Carolina is accepting applications for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP). 

FRPP is a voluntary Farm Bill program that helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture. Eligible entities include State, Tribal, and local governments and non-government organizations that acquire conservation easements from landowners who agree not to convert their land to non-agricultural uses and to develop and implement a conservation plan for any highly erodible land. 

Land proposed for FRPP must meet one of two eligibility categories. This includes land that has at least fifty percent prime and unique farmland soils, and soils of Statewide and local importance, or contains historic or archeological resources.

USDA’s NRCS administers the program that has protected more than 2 million acres of the nation’s most valuable lands for the production of food, feed and fiber since 1996. Although a continuous process, applications must be received by the January 3rd deadline to be considered for the first round of requests.

“This is an excellent way to keep prime farmland in agriculture and, at the same time, keep farming communities thriving by relieving development pressures,” said Kellee Melton, SC NRCS Assistant State Conservationist for Programs. “These easements ensure that productive farms and ranches will be kept in agricultural uses forever.”

For more information on the application materials required for certification, contact the NRCS FRPP manager in your state.

Learn more about FRPP by visiting the NRCS website or a local NRCS field office.

For more information about conservation in South Carolina, visit our website at www.sc.nrcs.usda.gov