Meeting to detail farmland protection grants

Published Sep 16, 2017 at 4:00pm

WHITESTOWN — The next round of state grants to protect at-risk farmland will be the topic of a meeting Oct. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Oneida County Cooperative Extension office, 121 Second St.

These “purchase of development rights” grants pay a farmer to place an agricultural conservation easement on the farm in order to safeguard productive farmland and limit non-agricultural development.

The farmer retains ownership of the land, and use and management of the farm; however, the land has permanent restrictions on commercial, residential and industrial uses. 

The state pays a farmer up to 87.5 percent of the value of the development rights on the land and 87.5 percent of the project costs.

The meeting is sponsored by Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust and Cooperative Extension. Reservations are requested. To sign up, call Remi Link at 315-736-3394, ext. 111, or send an email to rl368@cornell.edu.

Due to limited funding, Oneida County farmers must complete a pre-application and meet a set of eligibility criteria to be considered for the state grant. These pre-applications will be ranked by the Agricultural & Farmland Protection Board and the top farms are invited to work with Tug Hill Tomorrow and county agencies on submitting an application to the state.

There are six grants for Oneida, Lewis, Oswego and Jefferson counties. 

For more information about the program, contact Linda Garrett or Richard Johnston at Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust, 315-779-8240 or thtomorr@northnet.org.