4,000 More Acres Of Del. Farmland Preserved
Delaware has now preserved more than 143,000 acres of farmland for future generations.
The Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation, in its 25th round of easement selections, will preserve nearly 4,000 acres. 22 farms in Sussex County and 23 in Kent County join the preservation program. Forested parcels are also preserved through the Forestland Preservation Program.
“We take pride in having one of the country’s most effective farmland protection programs. With today’s announcement, 3,695 acres have been permanently preserved, including 45 farms through the AgLands Preservation Program and four forested parcels through the Forestland Preservation Program,” Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse said. “There are a lot of partners who play a role in Delaware’s success preserving farmland, from the county level up to federal agencies by providing matching funds.”
Landowners donate a percentage of the development rights value to preserve their farmland under the program. The Aglands Preservation Program receives $10-million dollars in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget for the next round.
“Delaware’s Aglands Preservation Program has been critical to keeping our farms in production,” Governor John Carney said. “We can all agree through the pandemic we learned how important family farmers are to ensuring food including fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and meat are readily available. Preserving farmland is not just about passing a farm down to the next generation. It’s about making sure future generations have food grown locally available to feed their families.”
“Sussex County Council has made it a priority to support the Delaware Aglands Program by providing significant funding to ensure working farms are preserved,” Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson added. “Ag continues to face tremendous pressure in the 21st century, and it is imperative that we take necessary steps — like purchasing these easements — to ensure this vital industry remains productive in our State and our County.”
More information is provided below by the Delaware Department of Agriculture:
The Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation Easements are available for viewing through an online dashboard at https://de.gov/agdashboard.
Landowners interested in preserving their farm can contact the Aglands Preservation Program at 302-698-4530 or find information and application forms at agriculture.delaware.gov. The Aglands Preservation Program received $10 million in the state budget on July 1 for selecting easements in Round 26, expected to be announced in late Spring 2022.