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Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program

Classic red American barn and grain silo.

FRPP: Protecting America's prime farmland.

Easement Program Funding Expiration - Update

The Agricultural Act of 2014 (Act) establishes the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) and  repeals the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP).  The Act does not affect the validity or terms of any FRPP agreement or easement entered into prior to the date of enactment on February 7, 2014 or any associated payments required to be made in connection with an existing FRPP agreement or easement.  In accordance with the provisions of the Act, land enrolled in the FRPP prior to February 7, 2014, shall be considered enrolled in the new ACEP.  

ACEP combines the purposes of FRPP and the similarly repealed Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) into the new Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of eligible farm and ranch land.

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 partnered 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, FY2009  to the Present

 

FRPP results data from FY2009 to the present are now on the RCA Data Viewer website's FRPP page.