MDARD: Michigan Agricultural Preservation Fund (United States)
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development along with the Agricultural Preservation Fund Board are pleased to announce the FY 2021 grant funding cycle for the Michigan Agricultural Preservation Fund.
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The Michigan Agricultural Preservation Fund and Agricultural Preservation Fund Board were established in 2000 under Part 362 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA). The act provides for the establishment of the Agricultural Preservation Fund, the creation of the Board, the development of an application procedure, selection criteria and the adoption of various standards and guidelines for the awarding of grants by the Board.
To provide grants to eligible local units of government for the purchase of agricultural conservation easements through Purchase of Development Rights programs (PDRs) to preserve farmland.
To provide funds for the state Purchase of Development Rights Program if a fund balance of greater than $5 million remains after making grants to local units of government and providing for administrative costs.
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This year, up to $250,000 will be set aside for a new program to be awarded funds to close on a property/farm.
The Agricultural Preservation Fund Board will establish selection criteria. The criteria will place a priority on farmland that has one or more of the following:
Farmland that has a productive capacity suited for the production of feed, food and fibre.
Farmland that would compliment and is part of a long-range plan for land preservation by the local unit of government in which the farmland is located.
Farmland located in an area that would complement other land protection efforts by creating a block of protected farmland.
Farmland that has a greater portion or percentage of the agricultural easement value provided by the local unit of government or sources other than the Fund.
Other factors considered important by the board.
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Grant applications are to be submitted by eligible local units of government. The term “local unit of government” refers to counties, cities, townships and villages that have the authority to zone property as provided by law.
A local unit of government is eligible to submit a grant application if the following requirements are met;
They have adopted a development rights ordinance providing for a PDR program in accordance with the applicable zoning act (county, township, or city and village) that contains the following:
An application procedure.
Criteria for a farmland parcel selection-scoring system.
A method to establish the price to be paid for development rights which may include an appraisal, bidding, or formula-based process.
They have adopted, within the last 10 years, a comprehensive land-use plan that includes a plan for agricultural preservation or is included in a regional plan meeting the same requirements.
The grant application form will include:
A list of the parcels proposed for PDR.
Size and location for each parcel.
Amount of local matching funds.
The estimated value of the agricultural conservation easement.
For more information, visit https://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-1572_2885-11788–,00.html