In partnership with Washington and Rensselaer counties, ASA administers each County’s Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Program to permanently protect working agricultural lands for current and future farming needs. ASA is a nonprofit land trust that works with selected farms to write grant proposals for submission to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Farmland Protection Implementation Projects grant program. If awarded, ASA assists landowners with conserving their farm using a deed called a conservation easement.
This Purchase of Development Rights Program compensates owners of farmland who volunteer to extinguish most of the residential and commercial development rights on their land by placing it under an agricultural conservation easement. Depending on the funding option selected, the grant pays for a certain percentage of the total project costs including the value of the development rights and the project-related expenses (surveys, title work, appraisal, ASA staff and legal time, recording fees, etc.).
These conservation easements allow for agricultural uses and structures as well as permit woodland management and recreational activities (hunting, snowmobiling, etc.). The amount of compensation for the extinguished development rights is determined by a qualified appraisal and available funding. Landowners who rent their lands to a farm applying to the PDR Program can submit a proposal to be included in the application as part of that farm operation. To be considered for the program, your project must be part of at least one farm operation.
This is a highly competitive grant program with limited funding, so interested farms that best match the state’s funding criteria and show a commitment to the program will be chosen to submit full applications to the state. Please note that ASA may be limited in the number of grants it can submit due to the state’s requirements in the grant application.