Warwick awarded nearly $1 million in state funds to protect farm

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WARWICK — The Town of Warwick was among the group of governments and organizations to share in $35 million in state grants to preserve 40 farms across New York.

The grants were announced last week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. According to the press release from the governor's office, the Farmland Protection Implementation Grant program provides local governments, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and land trusts with grants to offset costs of conservation easements to protect viable agricultural land from being converted to non-agricultural use.

For the first time ever, the awarded funds allow for the use of preemptive purchase rights, which encourage agricultural land to remain in active production and require that it be sold to other farmers at its agricultural value.

The Town of Warwick will receive $989,700 to permanently protect 145 acres, owned by William Brown and Barbara Felton, on which they manage as a beef cattle operation.

This project is the third phase of protection to this farm operation, preceded by 293 acres protected through the town’s purchase of development rights program in 2007 and an additional 78 acres that was protected with a prior award made in 2016.

This property is a Foodshed Priority Farm designated by the Scenic Hudson Land Trust within the Hudson Valley/New York City “foodshed.”

The town will contribute $329,900 toward this project.

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