As you may be aware, Governor Cuomo recently announced the availability of $26 million to aid farmland protection and prevent viable agricultural land from being converted to non-agricultural use. Farm owners may team up with eligible entities, including municipalities, counties, soil and water conservation districts and not-for-profit conservation organizations/land trusts, to apply for individual grants under the Round 14 Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Request for Proposals (RFP). The primary focus of the program is to offer grant payments equal to the value of a farms development rights, in return for a conservation easement to be placed on the land which limits future development.
As part of the State application process, County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Boards (AFPB) are charged with providing endorsements to the most viable and competitive local project applications to be forwarded to the State for funding consideration. As there are typically more farms interested than can be forwarded on to the State process, the Onondaga County Agriculture & Farmland Protection Board is conducting a Pre-Proposal screening of projects. This process will culminate with selected farms being endorsed by the County AFPB, and allowing those farms to proceed with preparing a full state project application along with an eligible state applicant partner.
The Onondaga County Agriculture & Farmland Protection Board (AFPB) directs farm owners to information and Pre-Proposal materials at www.ongov.net/planning/pdr.html. Pre-Proposals are due to the Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency by April 11, 2016.
Note, you will be requested to attend an upcoming AFPB meeting, (tentatively scheduled for the week of April 18th), to briefly describe your farm and answer any questions the Board may have. Meeting details will be emailed to the contact identified on the Pre-Proposal. Farmers will be notified by May 1, 2016, and full State applications are to be completed by farmers and partner applicants and submitted to NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets by the June 13th deadline.
For more information on the State’s farmland protection program and this Request for Proposals, visit www.ongov.net/planning/pdr.html. Please contact the Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency with any questions related to this Pre-Proposal process (435-2611 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County is also available for technical assistance questions 424-9485 or email@example.com. For applicant/partner information, you are encouraged to contact SOCPA or an eligible applicant (your municipality, Soil & Water Conservation District, or local land trust). For land trusts, visit the New York Agricultural Land Trust at www.ongov.net/planning/pdr.html. or the Finger Lakes Land Trust at www.ongov.net/planning/pdr.html. Thank you for consideration of this exciting opportunity to preserve farmland in Onondaga County!
Content from SOCPA and AFPB memorandum.
Last updated April 7, 2016