The property, part of the former Hengst
farm in Harmony Township, was purchased by Ms. Aubrey Zaffuto of
Far Hills for $350,000. The SADC originally had purchased the farm
in August through its fee simple program. Under this program, the
SADC buys a farm outright from a willing seller, then resells it
at public auction with agricultural deed restrictions that permanently
preserve the land for farming. Besides ensuring permanent preservation
of the land, this program has another benefit: It also provides farmers
who are just starting out or want to expand their operations with
opportunities to purchase land at affordable prices that reflect
only farmland value, not development potential.
Proceeds from all auction sales are returned to the state Farmland
Preservation Program and used to preserve other New Jersey farms.
The SADC administers the state Farmland
Preservation Program. To date, 471 farms totaling 68,523 acres have
been permanently preserved under the program.