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New Grant Helps Landowners Obtain Appraisals for their Farmland

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Conservation News
March 18, 2019

By Yvette DeBow-Salsedo

Peconic Land Trust Awarded Grant from New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to Assist Farmers in Suffolk County

Earlier this month, the Peconic Land Trust was one of five land trusts across the state to receive funding in support of farmland conservation.

Thanks to a new grant from New York State Ag and Markets, the Trust will assist landowners in obtaining qualified appraisals for their farmland with no cost or obligation to them. This critical information will inform 8 – 10 landowners of prime agricultural soils on Long Island what the current value of their land is including their development rights.

The Trust will also inform them of the various conservation options available to them and the potential tax liability and benefits of permanently protecting their farmland. These are the necessary first steps for landowners to assess the future use, ownership, and management of their land as well as the benefits of conservation in the context of their goals, needs, and circumstances.

Director of Conservation Planning Melanie Cirillo and Project Manager Julie Wesnofske put together the proposal to the state to assist local farm operations on Long Island, covering about 200 acres of prime agricultural soils. The $50,000 grant will pay for real estate appraisals for these parcels located in Suffolk County.

In total, the state awarded over $230,000 in funding to five land trusts to assist 43 farm operations across the state. “This funding helps our land trust partners with our collective goal of protecting New York farms and the open space they preserve,” said Commission Richard Ball. “Investing in the protection of our land sustains our longstanding agricultural traditions and improves quality of life for our communities.”

“Every day we are working with local farm families to help them keep their land in agricultural production,” said Melanie. “We thank Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Ball for continuing to work with land trusts to help our local farms remain active and viable.”

Click here to read the NYS Ag & Markets Press Release for additional information.