New York Funds Conservation Easements on Dairy Farms

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets announced that nearly $8.5 million has been awarded in support of conservation easement projects on several New York dairy farms. The Farmland Protection Implementation Grant program is helping to ensure dairy farms the opportunity to diversify their operations or transition their farm to the next generation at a more affordable cost while ensuring the land forever remains used for agricultural purposes. Funding for the program is still available, and the state is accepting applications from eligible entities, such as land trusts, municipalities, counties, and soil and water conservation districts, on a rolling basis for grants up to $2 million. State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “By expanding the State?s farmland protection program to include an opportunity specific to New York State’s dairy farmers, we are hoping to provide some relief during this difficult time…The grants will provide a boost to our farmers at a time when they need it most and ensure that these valuable lands remain used for agriculture.”