The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Agricultural Preservation Fund Board have announced a grant opportunity for 24 of Michigan’s counties and townships with qualified farmland preservation programs.
Funds may be used by the local unit of government to buy development rights from landowners who agree to place their farmland into a permanent conservation easement. All grant applications require a 25% fund match minimum. The maximum amount paid from the Agricultural Preservation Fund toward the purchase price of the farmland development rights is $7,500 per acre.
Applications from qualified farmland preservation programs must be submitted via email to MDARD-PDR@michigan.gov by 4 p.m. Dec. 28. If you do not receive a confirmation reply email within three days of submission, call 517-284-5663 to confirm receipt. Grant awards will be announced by March.
To qualify for an Agricultural Preservation Fund grant, a county or township must have zoning authority and be covered under a master plan that includes farmland preservation. Counties and townships interested in becoming qualified for future Agricultural Preservation Fund Board grants should call Elizabeth Brost at 517-243-7949.
Qualified county and township programs interested in applying should visit michigan.gov/farmland to view the application, eligibility criteria and the scoring system.
The APFB is a seven-member, governor-appointed board that oversees the fund and was established to develop grant selection criteria and award grants to local units of government for the purchase of development rights on farmland.