NYS Farmland Protection Program Meetings

Farm photo by Sue Matuszczak.

Farm photo by Sue Matuszczak.

In anticipation of a new round of funding being announced next year for the NYS Farmland Implementation Grant Program, Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust (THTLT) will be holding an informational meeting for farmers in Jefferson, Lewis and Oneida counties for farmers interested in protecting their farm.

The land trust will review the State farmland protection program and the steps to apply for funding.  The purpose of these farmland protection grants is to pay farmers to place an agricultural conservation easement on their farm. In exchange, the farmer retains ownership of their land, and non-agricultural development is limited through the easement. This ensures that the land will continued to be available as farmland.

Farmers can be paid up to 87.5 percent of the value of the development rights on their land, and the grant also covers 87.5 percent of the project costs. Municipalities, qualified not-for-profits (like THTLT) and Soil and Water Conservation districts are eligible to apply for these grants on behalf of the farmers, however at this time only Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust is planning to apply for those located in the Tug Hill counties.   Each organization is limited to apply for six grants.

These grants are highly competitive due to limited funding, and increased local interest. Farmers must complete a pre-application screening process to ensure their farm meets the eligibility requirements set by NYS. These pre-applications will be ranked by Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust, and the farms with the highest ranking scores will be invited to work with THTLT on submitting an application to the state.

If you are interested in learning more about the program and how you can participate, you can attend one of the following meetings.  In Oneida County at Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County, 121 Second Street, Oriskany NY  from 6-8 pm on Monday, October 2, 2017; in Lewis County at the Lewis County Cooperative Extension Office, 5274 Outer Stowe Street, Lowville, NY from 6-8 pm on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, in Jefferson County at the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Office, 203 North Hamilton Street, Watertown, New York from 6-8 pm on Tuesday, October 10, 2017;  If you cannot make any of these meetings, or would like more information please contact Linda Garrett or Richard Johnston at Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust, 315-779-8240 thtomorr@northnet.org.

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