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USDA program protects farm, ranch land from development

Agriculture.com Staff 04/21/2006 @ 1:29pm

Landowners who wish to participate in USDA's voluntary Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program have until May 11 to submit proposals to state Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offices. The program purchases conservation easements to limit the conversion of farm and ranch land to non-agricultural uses.

The USDA provides up to 50% of the appraised fair market value of the conservation easement. State and local entities can match that amount, including the use of landowner donations.

"Preserving the nation's prime agricultural farm and ranch lands helps to ensure a vibrant future for American agriculture," said Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns. "Once protected by conservation easements, this land will be shielded from development pressure and continue to support our safe and abundant food supply."

More than $70 million is available to protect agricultural land in 50 states and Puerto Rico. The program began in 1996 and has protected more than 277,000 acres in 43 states. For more information, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/frpp.

Landowners who wish to participate in USDA's voluntary Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program have until May 11 to submit proposals to state Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offices. The program purchases conservation easements to limit the conversion of farm and ranch land to non-agricultural uses.

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