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Agricultural News

Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program Now Accepting Proposals

Fri, 04 Jan 2013 16:20:47 CST

Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program Now Accepting Proposals
Urban sprawl continues to threaten the Nation's farm and ranch land, as social and economic changes over the past three decades have influenced the rate at which land is converted to non-agricultural uses. Population growth, demographic changes, preferences for larger lots, expansion of transportation systems, and economic prosperity have contributed to increases in agricultural land conversion rates. The amount of farm and ranch land lost to development and the quality of farmland being converted are significant concerns. In most States, prime farmland is being converted at two to four times the rate of other, less-productive agricultural land. There continues to be an important national interest in the protection of farm and ranch land. Land use devoted to agriculture provides an important contribution to environmental quality, protection of the Nation's historical and archaeological resources, and scenic beauty.

The Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) administered by the USDA-NRCS, is accepting applications for funding on a continuous basis. The 2008 Farm Bill provided for a continuous signup to allow eligible entities more opportunities to sign up eligible parcels. Landowners must meet the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill.

The Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP), is a voluntary conservation program that helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture. This program provides funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farmland in agricultural uses. Working through existing programs, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) joins state, tribal, or local governments and non- governmental organizations to acquire conservation easements. The NRCS provides up to 50 percent of the appraised fair market easement value.

Eligible land: includes privately owned farm and ranch land that: 1) contains prime, unique, statewide or locally important farmland; or 2) contains historical or archeological resources; or 3) furthers a state or local policy; and is subject to a pending offer by an eligible entity.

Eligible Entities: An eligible entity means federally recognized Indian tribes, state, unit of local government, or a nongovernmental organization, which has an ongoing farmland protection program that purchases agricultural conservation easements for the purpose of protecting agriculture use and related conservation values by limiting conversion to nonagricultural uses of the land.

Proposal Due Dates: Proposal requirements and program criteria can be obtained by contacting Joy Martin, Resource Specialist or more information can be found on the website listed below. Proposals will be submitted to the NRCS State Conservationist. Proposals will be received on a continuous basis at the Oklahoma NRCS State Office. The first proposal and parcel evaluation period for 2013 funding will occur after February 15, 2013. Only proposals received in the State Office by close of business on February 15,
2013 will be considered in the initial evaluation and funding period.

Proposals will be submitted to: Dick Zetterberg Acting State Conservationist, USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service, 100 USDA, Suite 206, Stillwater, OK 74074-2655.

NRCS FRPP PROGRAM CONTACT: Applicants with questions related to this announcement or participation in the FRPP, should direct their questions to the following contact in the Programs Section of the Oklahoma State Office: Joy Martin, Resource Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 100 USDA, Suite 206, Stillwater, OK 74074-2655 Phone: (405) 742-1234 joy.martin@ok.usda.gov

This Announcement for Program Funding and additional information on the FRPP in Oklahoma is available off the Oklahoma NRCS Programs website at: http://www.ok.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/frpp/index.html



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