NEW JERSEY – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher this week announced the New Jersey Farmland Preservation Program is accepting new applications for farm owners wishing to permanently preserve their land.
The State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC), the agency that administers the program, is accepting new applications through its State Acquisition Program in which landowners coordinate directly with the SADC office to preserve their farms.
“The preservation program is fortunate to have the strong support from the public and more than 2,700 farms covering approximately 240,000 acres have been preserved under the State Farmland Preservation Program. Through preservation New Jersey’s valuable farmland resources can be SADC Regional Acquisition Coordinators Stefanie Miller, Amy Mandelbaum, Katie Mazzella, Rachel DeFlumeri, and SADC Outreach & Training
Coordinator Cindy Roberts permanently protected,” Fisher said. “I encourage interested landowners to explore these opportunities now, as program funding recently increased, allowing the SADC to accept a greater number of farm preservation applications through the State Acquisition Program.
“Our regional acquisition coordinators are very customer-service oriented and eager to talk with interested farmland owners to review their farm, their business needs, and the process,” SADC Executive Director Susan Payne said. “Then, if a farmland owner is interested in applying, staff will be there to help every step of the way.” Permanently preserved farms also have priority access to SADC grants for farm improvements like irrigation, deer fence, erosion control, drainage, and water control systems.
The SADC’s State Acquisition program accepts applications year-round. Farms are prioritized by size and quality based on average census acres by county. If your farm has at least 50% of its acreage tillable and the size is over the following acreage, it could be prioritized for preservation through the State Acquisition program. Atlantic (48 acres), Bergen (10), Burlington (78), Camden (35), Cape May (37), Cumberland (88), Gloucester (63), Hunterdon (47), Mercer (58), Middlesex (55), Monmouth (35), Morris (26), Ocean (24), Passaic (15), Salem (94), Somerset (59), Sussex (44) and Warren (60).
Anyone interested in exploring preservation, the SADC acquisition regional coordinators are ready to help:
- Stefanie Miller (covers Hunterdon county) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Amy Mandelbaum (covers Atlantic, Cape May, Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Camden, Gloucester counties) email@example.com
- Katie Mazzella (covers Salem, Cumberland counties) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rachel DeFlumeri (covers Bergen, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Warren counties) email@example.com
You can also call the SADC’s main number at 609-984-2504 or visit the SADC’s website at www.nj.gov/agriculture/sadc/farmpreserve/.
Farmland not qualifying for the State Acquisition Direct Easement program may be eligible for preservation through the SADC Municipal, County, and Nonprofit Grant Programs. SADC staff will assist farmland owners in applying through these programs.