TEMPLE – The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP), a voluntary conservation program that helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture.
Eligible entities can apply at any time, but must submit applications on or before March 1, 2010, to receive consideration for initial funding in fiscal year 2010.
FRPP provides funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farmland in agricultural uses. Working through existing programs, the NRCS joins State, tribal, or local governments and non-governmental organizations to acquire conservation easements.
Only eligible entities may submit applications of eligible farm and ranch land.
Eligible entities are State, tribal or local governments and non-governmental organizations that have the authority to acquire, hold and manage easements and the funds to match the Federal contribution.
The FRPP can provide up to 50 percent of the appraised fair market value of the easement on the farm or ranch.
At least 50 percent of the appraised fair market value of the easement must be provided by the eligible entity.
FRPP has enrolled more than 620,000 acres on 3,100 farms and ranches since Congress first authorized the program in 1996.