June 6, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Nearly $33 Million Awarded to New York Farms to Protect More Than 12,300 Acres of Farmland

Governor Hochul Announces Nearly $33 Million Awarded to New York Farms to Protect More Than 12,300 Acres of Farmland

33 Projects Awarded in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, and Capital Regions will Conserve 12,356 Acres of Viable Agricultural Land through the Farmland Protection Program

118,400 Acres of Farmland Protected Across the State

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that nearly $33 million is being awarded to not-for-profit conservation organizations to protect a total of 12,356 acres of valuable farmland on 33 farms across the State through the Farmland Protection Implementation Grants (FPIG) program. This is the third and final group of conservation easements funded through Round 19 of the program, which is helping to keep agricultural land in production, ensure the long-term viability of New York's farming operations, and strengthen New York's agricultural industry.

“New York’s farmland and our rich soils across the State are precious resources, providing us open space and supporting the production of the food we eat,” Governor Hochul said. “By protecting our farmland, we can help ensure the viability and success of New York agriculture for generations to come, which is why this year’s budget again included significant funding for the Farmland Protection Program."

Round 19 of the State's Farmland Protection program supports the State's top priorities – like food security, climate resiliency, and source water protection – and includes the agroforestry, equine, and wine sectors as eligible applicants. In addition, the eligibility criteria includes three newer categories: field crops, livestock or livestock products, and access to farmland. Access to farmland is intended to help address ongoing challenges facing new and beginning farmers as well as retiring farmers in this area.

So far, the FPIG program has helped preserve more than 118,400 acres of New York farmland through completed conservation easement projects totaling more than $282 million on 397 farms.

The following projects have been awarded in the Capital Region, Mohawk Valley, Mid-Hudson, Central New York, Finger Lakes, and Southern Tier Regions, totaling $32,835,191:

Capital Region ($4,588,886 for 2,619 acres):

  • Agricultural Stewardship Association (Washington County) – Fullerton Farm-Eldridge Lane (dairy operation awarded under Livestock or Livestock Products category) - $660,996 for 485 acres with 75 percent productive soils
  • Agricultural Stewardship Association (Washington County) – Woody Hill Farm II (dairy operation awarded under Livestock or Livestock Products category)- $1,234,101 for 709 acres with 39 percent productive soils
  • Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy (Albany County) – Eight Mile Creek Farm-Westerlo (livestock and vegetable operation awarded under Source Water Protection category) - $575,171 for 277 acres with 74 percent productive soils
  • Agricultural Stewardship Association (Rensselaer County) – Larkin Hill Farm (equine operation awarded under Equine category) - $363,588 for 75 acres with 73 percent productive soils
  • Agricultural Stewardship Association (Washington County) – Walker Farms (dairy operation awarded under Livestock or Livestock Products category) - $1,259,163 for 873 acres with 52 percent productive soils
  • Columbia Land Conservancy (Columbia County) – Shadowbrook Farm (livestock operation awarded under Livestock or Livestock Products category) - $227,200 for 117 acres with 65 percent productive soils
  • Agricultural Stewardship Association (Rensselaer County) – Mort’s Maple Farm (maple sap operation awarded under Agroforestry category) - $268,667 for 83 acres with 61 percent productive soils

Mohawk Valley Region ($2,146,057 for 738 acres):

  • Otsego Land Trust (Otsego County) – Young Family Dairy Farm (dairy operation awarded under Livestock or Livestock Products category) - $936,323 for 376 acres with 63 percent productive soils
  • Otsego Land Trust (Otsego County) – Peaceful View Meadows (beef cattle operation awarded under Livestock or Livestock Products category) - $429,150 for 101 acres with 49 percent productive soils
  • Otsego Land Trust (Otsego County) – Miller’s Organic Dairy Farm-Allen Lake Road (dairy operation awarded under Livestock or Livestock Products category) - $260,214 for 72 acres with 73 percent productive soils
  • Otsego Land Trust (Otsego County) – Miller’s Organic Dairy Farm-Hoke Road (dairy operation awarded under Source Water Protection category)- $520,370 for 189 acres with 61 percent productive soils

Mid-Hudson Region ($1,497,169 for 311 acres):

  • Orange County Land Trust (Orange County) – Moraczewski Farm (hay operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $817,707 for 166 acres with 38 percent productive soils
  • Dutchess Land Conservancy (Dutchess County) – Knapp Farm (cash crop operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $679,462 for 145 acres with 78 percent productive soils

Central New York Region ($4,477,300 for 1,211 acres):

  • New York Agricultural Land Trust (Cayuga County) – Staehr Family Farm (cash crop operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $875,316 for 177 acres with 77 percent productive soils
  • New York Agricultural Land Trust (Onondaga County) – Lockwood Farm (cash crop and sheep operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $876,414 for 119 acres with 77 percent productive soils
  • New York Agricultural Land Trust (Cayuga County) – Hourigan Farms of Elbridge (dairy and cash crop operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $799,040 for 383 acres with 75 percent productive soils
  • New York Agricultural Land Trust (Onondaga County) – Lue Maple Lane Farm (dairy and cash crop operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $1,926,530 for 532 acres with 68 percent productive soils

Finger Lakes Region ($18,936,083 for 7,049 acres):

  • Genesee Valley Conservancy (Wyoming County) – Silver Haven Farms (dairy operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $1,876,790 for 565 acres with 98 percent productive soils
  • Genesee Valley Conservancy (Wyoming County) – Woodvale Farms #1 (dairy operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $1,316,195 for 425 acres with 75 percent productive soils
  • Genesee Valley Conservancy (Wyoming County) – Woodvale Farms #2 (dairy operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $1,082,901 for 355 acres with 57 percent productive soils
  • Western New York Land Conservancy (Genesee County) – Tiede Farm (cash crop operation awarded under Field Crops category) - $519,271 for 246 acres with 56 percent productive soils
  • Finger Lakes Land Trust (Yates County) – Hallpine Farm (cash crop operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $782,232 for 195 acres with 94 percent productive soils
  • Genesee Land Trust (Genesee County) – Branton Farms (cash crop operation awarded under Field Crops category) - $1,365,302 for 585 acres with 77 percent productive soils
  • Genesee Valley Conservancy (Genesee County) – Cottonwood Farm (dairy operation awarded under Livestock or Livestock Products category) - $1,853,625 for 788 acres with 41 percent productive soils
  • Genesee Valley Conservancy (Livingston County) – Doolittle Farm (dairy operation awarded under Livestock or Livestock Products category) - $1,487,195 for 623 acres with 81 percent productive soils
  • Genesee Valley Conservancy (Livingston County) – Zornow Farm (cash crop operation awarded under Specialty Crops category) - $1,385,953 for 458 acres with 83 percent productive soils
  • Genesee Land Trust (Wayne County) – Westfall Farm (beef cattle and cash crop operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $1,092,989 for 240 acres with 73 percent productive soils
  • Genesee Valley Conservancy (Livingston County) – Brady Farms #1 (cash crop operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $2,000,000 for 1,278 acres with 91 percent productive soils
  • Genesee Land Trust (Ontario County) – Hickory Lane Farm (beef cattle and cash crop operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $1,840,934 for 274 acres with 59 percent productive soils
  • Genesee Valley Conservancy (Livingston County) – Locust Lane Farm (beef cattle operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $350,940 for 141 acres with 91 percent productive soils
  • Genesee Land Trust (Genesee County) – Udderly Better Acres (dairy operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $492,626 for 242 acres with 88 percent productive soils
  • Genesee Valley Conservancy (Genesee County) – Har-Go Farm (dairy operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $1,489,130 for 634 acres with 60 percent productive soils

Southern Tier ($1,189,696 for 428 acres):

  • Finger Lakes Land Trust (Chemung County) – Boorcrest Farm (beef cattle operation awarded under Viable Agricultural Land-Other category) - $1,189,696 for 428 acres with 68 percent productive soils

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Protecting our farmland is at the core of our work at the Department to grow the agricultural industry, strengthen the food supply chain, and combat climate change. By preserving our valuable agricultural lands from development pressures, we’re maintaining this significant resource for our next generation and helping farmers growing and producing various crops and commodities to reinvest in their operations.”

Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “New York’s farmland is among the most precious and irreplaceable resources we have, and making it a state priority to protect it will help ensure it can continue to be the foundation of our food supply and a key partner in our fight against the Climate Crisis. The Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program has helped our farmers and local land conservancies permanently save thousands of acres of vulnerable farmland. Congratulations to Dutchess Land Conservancy and Knapp Farm in my district and all the farms across New York that have received funding awards to protect their lands now and for future generations.”

Assembly member Donna Lupdardo said, "I'm proud that we once again prioritized the Farmland Protection Program in the state budget, helping to keep agricultural land in production and farmers in business. The program is grounded in our commitment to NY’s agricultural economy, along with promoting climate resilience. Congratulations to all of the awardees; once implemented, together their projects will conserve over 12,300 acres of farmland. This important work is done on behalf of future generations."

New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said, "New York's prime farmland is essential for crop production and providing open spaces. New York Farm Bureau thanks Gov. Hochul for continuing to protect our farms for future generations through the Farmland Protection Program. The funding will prevent development on some of the best soils in the state while also helping family farms reinvest into their small businesses.”

American Farmland Trust New York Policy Manager Mikaela Perry said, "American Farmland Trust applauds Governor Hochul and the legislature for investing in the permanent protection of New York’s farmland. Farmland Protection is a critical tool in building regional food security, contributing to healthy soils and clean water and air, and ensuring that land is available for future farmers. AFT congratulates our land trust partners and the 33 farmers protecting over 12,000 acres of farmland for working tirelessly to preserve one of our state’s most valuable resources for generations to come!”

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets administers the Farmland Protection Implementation Grants program and its associated grant opportunities. Governor Hochul announced the availability of $47.25 million for the program in June 2023. As part of the funding awarded, $4.5 million was allocated to each of the State’s 10 economic development regions. Round 19 also continued the one-time incentive payment of 10 percent of the value of the agricultural conservation easement for projects that meet climate resilience or source water protection goals.

The Governor announced the first set of awards, with more than $6 million being provided to not-for-profit conservation organizations to purchase conservation easements on eight farms, in September 2023. A second round of funding was announced in January 2024, awarding more than $5.5 million to protect a total of 2,119 acres of valuable farmland on seven New York State farms.

In December 2022, Governor Hochul signed legislation setting the goal to support and contribute to national efforts to conserve at least 30 percent of U.S. land and water by 2030. This law promotes biodiversity and preserves New York's wildlife, forests, and clean water sources, which are all essential to New York's health and economy, water quality improvement, and an aggressive environmental justice agenda. Today’s announcement of nearly $33 million being awarded to not-for-profit conservation organizations to protect a total of 12,356 acres of valuable farmland on 33 farms across the State through the FPIG program brings the state a step closer to the 30 percent of U.S. land and water by 2030.

The Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program provides financial assistance to counties, municipalities, soil and water conservation districts, and land trusts to enable them to implement farmland protection activities consistent with local agricultural and farmland protection plans. The most frequently funded activity is the purchase of development rights on individual farms. However, the program also awards funding to enable other implementation activities, such as amendments to local laws affecting agriculture, option agreements, and covering the transaction costs of donated agricultural conservation easements.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

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