RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — On Tuesday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced $270,000 from the Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund that will be awarded to five localities, providing critical matching funds to permanently preserve working farmland through local Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs.
These programs empower localities to limit development on priority farms and forestlands and provide an incentive to landowners who voluntarily want to protect their working lands.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been reminded how important Virginia’s farms are to getting food into our stores and onto our tables. In addition to being a vital part of our history, agriculture is central to our growing economy and maintaining the outstanding quality of life we enjoy in our Commonwealth. Partnering with local governments to preserve critical working landscapes and protect our abundant natural resources is key to maximizing the conservation impact of state funds.”Gov. Ralph Northam
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (VDACS) Office of Farmland Preservation, which administers the Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund, has allocated this year’s funding to Albemarle, Clarke, Fauquier, and Stafford counties – as well as the city of Chesapeake.
Since 2008, the Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund has allocated $12.4 million in state matching funds in partnership with 16 local PDR programs.
These 16 local PDR programs have permanently protected more than 14,300 acres on 107 farms in Virginia.