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Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program

Classic red American barn and grain silo.

FRPP: Protecting America's prime farmland.

FRPP: Lessons Learned

With the repeal of the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) under the new Farm Bill of 2014, NRCS has been approached by organizations interested in hosting a meeting or series of meetings to discuss lessons learned through FRPP under the 2008 Farm Bill.

NRCS looks forward to meeting with partners and stakeholders at meetings that will be hosted by national, regional, state, or local land conservation organizations to exchange information about FRPP under the 2008 Farm Bill and how we can better administer the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program under the 2014 Farm Bill.

NRCS hopes to learn from participants what worked and what did not work in our efforts to preserve the agricultural use of farm and ranch land through implementation of FRPP. NRCS will post invitation(s) from the Hosts of these meeting on its FRPP webpage and is willing to attend similar meetings in the future.

NRCS will not obtain the participant’s consensus advice at these sessions, as attempting to obtain consensus advice or recommendations could possibly trigger the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

For more information on ACEP, please visit the ACEP web page.

 

Introduction

The Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) provided matching funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farm and ranchland 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 provided up to 50 percent of the fair market easement value of the conservation easement.

 

2014 FRPP Certification Round - Closed

The Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program certified eligible entities to participate in a streamlined acquisition process.

Who Was Able To Apply

State, tribal, or local governments and non-governmental organizations, as well as other entities that could become certified, had more flexibility and a shorter process to acquire easements. Certified organizations were able to enter into longer term cooperative agreements to conduct the program’s closings without prior submission of individual appraisals, deeds or title documents for NRCS review.

Apply By January 3, 2014 -- Application Period Closed

Entities were able apply for certification by submitting a letter of request and application materials to the NRCS State Conservationist where they sought certification at any time. Although this was a continuous process, applications had to be received by January 3, 2014 to be considered at the next meeting of the certification panel.

Sample Letter of Request, State Office And Policy  Links

Sample Request for Applications Letter (PDF, 51KB)

NRCS State Offices  -  choose the State where the land in your request is.

the following link(s) takes you off the NRCS websiteFRPP Certification Criteria (On GPO website)

Certification Policy (On NRCS eDirectives website)

Additional FRPP Information

Farmland Information Center

The Farmland Information Center is a public/private partnership between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and American Farmland Trust (AFT), for people working to save farm and ranch land for agriculture.

The following link takes you off the NRCS websiteFarmland Protection Directory - lists state and local programs that purchase agricultural conservation easements and land trusts that have reported an interest in protecting farm and ranch land for agriculture.

The following link takes you off the NRCS websiteImpacts of the Federal Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program: An Assessment Based on Interviews with Participating Landowners  - A joint project  American Farmland Trust and the Center for Great Plains Studies of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln examines how the program improves agricultural viability, encourages on-farm conservation and helps farmers gain access to land.

Land Trust Alliance

NRCS Partners with Land Trust Alliance to provide training resources to FRPP partner entities

The following link takes you off the NRCS websiteLand Trust Alliance press release |  Application for LTA /NRCS partnership training resources (PDF, 23KB)

The following link takes you off the NRCS websiteLand Trust Alliance Webinar, "FRPP Entity Certification"

 

FRPP results data are now housed on the RCA Soil Viewer website,

http://soils.usda.gov/survey/rca/viewer

Links to program-specific reports for FY2009 - 2012 are available on this page.