State money helps protect local farmland
More than 700 acres of valuable and at-risk farmland, including properties in Red Hook and Pine Plains, will be protected through the state’s Farmland Protection Implementation Grant program, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced Wednesday.
Cuomo’s office said a total of $2.5 million was awarded to five projects in the MidHudson Valley. The funding will support the ability of farms to maintain the land for agricultural purposes and protect it from development through the use of perpetual conservation easements.
The Dutchess Land Conservancy was awarded $343,975 for Potts Farm in Red Hook to permanently protect the 73-acre cash crop-vegetable operation. Potts Farm is a high-priority farm designated for protection by the Scenic Hudson Land Trust. The land trust will contribute $129,610 toward the project, while the Dutchess Land Conservancy will contribute $5,000.
The Columbia Land Conservancy was awarded $762,725 for Chaseholm Farm in Pine Plains. This land trust will permanently protect Chaseholm Farm, which is a 175-acre dairy operation in Dutchess County. A 109-acre portion of Chaseholm Farm in Columbia County already is protected by a perpetual conservation easement as the result of a prior award.
The current project will help facilitate another intergenerational family transfer of the remainder of the farm operation, which is undergoing its own transformation to an organic dairy operation. Scenic Hudson Land Trust will contribute $268,225 toward this project, while Dutchess County will contribute $246,225.
The state Department of Agriculture and Markets administers the grant program. Municipalities, counties, soil and conservation districts and not-forprofit conservation organizations or land trusts were eligible to apply for individual grants under the Round 14 Farmland Protection Implementation Grants competitive request for proposals. Farms protected under the program remain taxable.