- The State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC)
today approved $10 million for farmland preservation
grants in nine new project areas around the state through
the Planning Incentive Grant (PIG) program.
"These new grants will further our efforts
to preserve farmland and strengthen the agricultural
industry in close partnership with local officials
and county officials, who have planned and designated
these project areas as priorities for preservation," said
Agriculture Secretary Charles M. Kuperus, who chairs
the SADC. "This is what our whole Smart Growth
program is about."
Funding for the new Planning Incentive Grants is
part of $24 million allocated today to 50 PIG project
areas around the state. The nine new project areas
are in Burlington County (four), Hunterdon County
(two), Mercer, Morris and Warren counties.
The PIG program places priority on preserving large
blocks of reasonably contiguous farms in a designated
project area where local officials have made a commitment
to preserving farmland and the agricultural industry.
The program gives local officials and municipalities
the chance to become more involved in farmland preservation
decisions, and county agencies the opportunity to
concentrate preservation efforts in high priority
areas. These project areas also create an opportunity
to coordinate economic development with the farming
The SADC is an 11-member board that administers
the Farmland Preservation Program. In the past three
months, the SADC has allocated a record $48 million
for PIGs - $24 million in May and $24 million approved
today. It is hoped that as individual farmland preservation
applications are processed during this decade in
the nine newly funded PIG project areas, 390 farms
totaling more than 28,000 acres will be preserved.
SADC Executive Director Greg Romano said more than
60 PIGs in 39 municipalities in eight counties have
been approved by the SADC and are receiving funding. "We
provide funds annually in stages, which allows us
in closer partnership with local leaders to concentrate
on preserving a group of farms together instead of
dealing with one individual farm owner at a time."
A list of the 9 newly funded PIGs is attached.
The State Agriculture Development Committee established
in 1983 is an 11-member board. To date it has preserved
918 farms totaling 110,266 acres.