On January 4, 2017, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office announced recipients of farmland-preservation grants for Fiscal Year 2017. Following is an excerpt from the news release on the grants:
“The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (VDACS) Office of Farmland Preservation has awarded a total of $500,000 to six localities. Localities must use the grants to permanently preserve working farmland within their boundaries through local Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs. PDR programs compensate landowners who work with localities to permanently preserve their land by voluntarily securing a perpetual conservation easement. VDACS allocated nearly $87,000 each to Albemarle, Fauquier, and Clarke counties as well as the cities of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. Warren County will receive more than $65,000. These grant allocations bring the total allocation of state matching funds to more than $11.9 million since 2008 when PDR funds were first distributed. …
“This is the tenth time that the Commonwealth has provided state matching funds for certified local PDR programs. Of the 22 local PDR programs in Virginia, 18 have received local funding over the past few years. To date, more than 11,400 acres on 80 farms in 15 localities have been permanently protected in part with $10.5 million of these funds. Additional easements are expected to close using the remaining funds over the next two years.
“Localities interested in creating a PDR program or applying for future rounds of grant applications for PDR matching funds should contact the VDACS Office of Farmland Preservation Coordinator Andy Sorrell at Andrew.Sorrell@vdacs.virginia.gov or call (804) 786-1906.”
Source: Governor McAuliffe Announces $500,000 in Farmland Preservation Grants; Four counties, two cities receive funds to place working farmlands under permanent conservation easements, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 1/4/17.
More information from the VDACS on farmland preservation is available online at http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/conservation-and-environmental-farmland-preservation.shtml.