TRENTON – The Garden State Preservation Trust (GSPT) today approved a request for $500,000 to help Middlesex County preserve farmland as part of New Jersey’s efforts to further farmland preservation across the state, Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher announced.
“Farmland is the foundation for agriculture and for so many of the benefits Middlesex County’s farms have to offer us – everything from opportunities to enjoy fresh, local produce and farm experiences, to rural and open landscapes that keep our communities green and growing,” said Fisher. “The Christie Administration is committed to providing funds that enable New Jersey to continue our partnership efforts to preserve productive farmland and ensure agriculture remains a vital part of Middlesex County and the Garden State for all time.”
The State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC), which administers New Jersey’s Farmland Preservation Program, made the request that includes $500,000 to help Middlesex County preserve farmland under the County Planning Incentive Grant Program. The request is part of a $79.5 million funding request for farmland preservation projects statewide.
The request will be forwarded to the Legislature for approval of appropriation bills, which must be signed by the Governor. All actions will take effect at the expiration of the statutory period for the Governor’s review and consideration of the meeting minutes.
“New Jersey’s Farmland Preservation Program is critical to supporting our agriculture industry and way of life in Middlesex County,” said Tom Gilbert, chairman of NJ Keep It Green. “This funding, made possible by the 2009 bond referendum, will continue the State’s strong commitment to preserving family farms to protect our quality of life and provide local, Jersey Fresh food for decades to come.”
The SADC administers New Jersey’s Farmland Preservation Program, directly preserving farmland and providing grants to counties, municipalities and nonprofits to assist them in preserving farmland. To date, more than 2,100 farms covering more than 200,000 acres have been preserved statewide under the program.
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