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State Auctions Preserved Mercer County Farm
For Immediate Release: November 30, 1999 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic


The State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC), which administers New Jersey's Farmland Preservation Program, will auction the 73-acre East Windsor Township property formerly known as the Siciliano Farm at 11 am on Friday, December 10, in Trenton. The addition of this property represents one more step in reaching Governor Christine Whitman's goal of permanently preserving 500,000 acres of New Jersey farmland as part of her million acre initiative. Any prospective bidder must register with the SADC by submitting an application to qualify and a $10,000 deposit by no later than noon on Monday, December 6. The SADC acquired the East Windsor farm in August for $660,000 with the assistance of a $200,000 grant from the County of Mercer. Under the terms of the deed restriction, the property will be forever preserved as farmland and cannot be used for non-agricultural purposes. The minimum initial bid that will be accepted is $260,000. The farm consists of two tracts of land with a common frontage along Whitcomb Road, bordered by Windsor-Perrineville Road to the north and Old York Road (Route 539) to the west. The property is vacant, but deed restrictions permit the construction of a residence provided that it is for agricultural purposes, as well as the construction of other agricultural buildings. Approximately 77 percent of the property's soils are classified as prime farmland, and all of the acreage is tillable crop land. The SADC acquired the farm through its fee simple program, in which lands are bought outright, deed restrictions are put into place and the farms are auctioned to private owners for agricultural use. Proceeds from the sale will be returned to the Farmland Preservation Program and used to preserve other New Jersey farms. Statewide, 388 farms totaling 57,377 acres have been permanently protected under the Farmland Preservation Program, with approximately 19,100 additional acres which have been approved for preservation. The auction will be held at the Health and Agriculture Building in Trenton. For more information, prospective bidders should contact the SADC at (609) 984-2504.