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New York Protects 107,000 Acres of Farmland


New York State has reached a significant milestone in protecting valuable and at-risk farmland through its Farmland Protection Implementation Grant program. As of this month, the FPIG program has helped preserve more than 107,000 acres of New York farmland through completed conservation easement projects totaling more than $250 million on nearly 370 farms.

“Supporting New York’s farmers starts with protecting the farmland they use to feed communities across the state,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Through the New York Farmland Protection Program, we are conserving land that will provide food security to New Yorkers today and bolster future generations of farmers tomorrow. My administration is committed to continuing to address the needs of New York farmers and ensuring the long-term sustainability of our agricultural industry.”  

The announcement was made by State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball, who was joined by agricultural partners and local officials at Mulligan Farm, a fourth-generation dairy farm in Avon, Livingston County, and the first farm to use the Farmland Protection program in Livingston County. The Department of Agriculture and Markets awarded Mulligan Farm $1.3 million in 2008 and $1.5 million in 2021 through the FPIG program, which resulted in seven conservation easements, protecting a total of 1,800 acres of land in Avon, Livingston County, and Rush, Monroe County from future development. The conservation easements were completed with the assistance of Genesee Valley Conservancy. The Mulligan Farm was the first conservation easement Genesee Valley Conservancy completed and is also one of its most recent.      

“Nearly 370 farms across the state are continuing to operate, to provide fresh, healthy food to our communities, and to contribute to our economy, thanks to the program’s success.”

In Livingston, Monroe, and Wyoming Counties alone, 18,750 acres across 19 farms have been protected through the FPIG program and Genesee Valley Conservancy’s partnership. An additional 11,000 acres of protected land is pending. So far, a total of $55 million in grants from the program have been invested or committed to in the area.   

Approximately 20 percent of the state’s land area, or nearly 7 million acres, is farmland. The Department’s Farmland Protection Program provides financial assistance to counties, municipalities, soil and water conservation districts, and land trusts to enable them to implement farmland protection activities consistent with local agricultural and farmland protection plans. The most frequently funded activity is the purchase of development rights on individual farms. However, the program also awards funding to land trusts and land conservancies to enable other implementation activities, such as amendments to local laws affecting agriculture, option agreements, and covering the transaction costs of donated agricultural conservation easements.  

State Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball said, “The success of Mulligan Farm and the partnership with the Genesee Valley Conservancy is just one of the many, many great stories we have to tell when it comes to our Farmland Protection program. Nearly 370 farms across the state are continuing to operate, to provide fresh, healthy food to our communities, and to contribute to our economy, thanks to the program’s success. I’m proud of the work we have done, in partnership with our land trusts and land conservancies, to reach this significant milestone and are ready to tackle the next 100,000 acres.”

New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said, “Protection of farmland is critical in ensuring the continued success of farming and food security in New York State. Our state’s farmland protection program is unparalleled in its mission and protecting 100,000 acres of farmland is truly an environmental milestone. I look forward to seeing another 100,000 acres protected in the future.”


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