Home Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund makes grants toward local PDR programs
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Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund makes grants toward local PDR programs

Chris Graham
virginia politics
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Six Virginia localities are sharing $875,000 in grant awards for local purchase of development rights programs.

The list includes Clark County, Fauquier County, Shenandoah County and Stafford County, and the cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

“Agriculture is Virginia’s largest industry and investing in farmland preservation is an investment in Virginia’s economic future,” Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr said. “Our partnerships with local governments help to protect critical working lands while enhancing food security in the Commonwealth. In addition, preservation of open spaces helps to mitigate flooding and protect natural resources.”

The grant awards are being made through the Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund.

The funding will bolster the localities’ efforts to permanently preserve working farm and forest land by compensating landowners who voluntarily place a conservation easement on their property.

“Agriculture and forestry are essential to the lives of Virginians as it produces the food, fiber, and fuel we use every day,” Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Joseph Guthrie said. “Keeping working landscapes intact is essential to maintaining Virginia’s agricultural legacy and productivity into the future.”

Since the program’s inception in 2008, a total of $13.3 million in state matching funds have been used in partnership with 16 local PDR programs to permanently protect more than 14,950 acres on 115 farms.

Localities interested in doing more to protect their vital working farms and forestlands by creating a PDR program or implementing other best practices should contact Genette Harris, Coordinator, Office of Farmland Preservation, at [email protected] or 804.786.1906.

For more information about the Office of Farmland Preservation, visit www.vdacs.virginia.gov/conservation-and-environmental-farmland-preservation.shtml.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].