MDARD Announces Agricultural Preservation Fund Grant Opportunity for Counties and Townships with Qualified Farmland Preservation Programs

Applications due by 4:00 p.m., Monday, December 23

For Immediate Release: October 21, 2019
Media Contact: Jessy Sielski, 517-284-5725
Program Contact: Elizabeth Brost, 517-243-7949

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and the Agricultural Preservation Fund Board have announced a new grant opportunity for 24 of Michigan’s counties and townships with qualified farmland preservation programs. Funds may be used by the local unit of government to purchase development rights from landowners who agree to place their farmland into a permanent conservation easement. All grant applications require a 25 percent fund match minimum. The maximum amount paid from the Agricultural Preservation Fund toward the purchase price of the farmland development rights is $7,500 per acre. 

Those interested in applying can view the application, eligibility criteria, and scoring system here. The grant application cycle for fiscal year 2020 will begin Monday, October 21, 2019, and close at 4:00 p.m. (EST), Monday, December 23, 2019. All applications must be submitted via email to MDARD-PDR@michigan.gov. Applications will be reviewed through a competitive process. If you do not receive a confirmation reply email within three days of submission, please call 517-284-5663 to confirm. Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will not be considered for a grant. Grant awards will be announced in the spring of 2020. 

In order to qualify for an APFB grant, a county or township must have zoning authority and be covered under a master plan that includes farmland preservation. Counties and townships interested in becoming qualified for future Agricultural Preservation Fund Board grants should contact Elizabeth Brost at 517-243-7949.

The Agricultural Preservation Fund Board is a seven-member, governor-appointed board that oversees the fund and was established to develop grant selection criteria and award grants to local units of government for the purchase of development rights on farmland.

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