Farmland Protection Program

Farmland Protection Program

The Farmland Protection Program (formerly the Farm and Ranchland Protection Program) is a voluntary program that helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture and prevents conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural uses. 

Administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and funded through the Farm Bill, the program provides matching funds to organizations with existing farmland protection programs that enable them to purchase conservation easements. These entities purchase easements from landowners in exchange for a lump-sum payment, not to exceed the appraised fair market value of the land’s development rights. The easements are for perpetuity unless prohibited by state law. 

Eligible land is land on a farm or ranch that 

  • has prime, unique, statewide, or locally important soil or contains historical or archaeological resources; 
  • is subject to a pending offer by an eligible entity; and 
  • includes cropland, rangeland, grassland, pasture land, and incidental forest land and wetlands that are part of an agricultural operation. 

From FY1996 through FY2007, the service has enrolled 2,764 parcels covering more than 533,068 acres into the program. FY2008 funding is $97 million.

More Information

NRCS Farmland Protection Program

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