RD566 - Office of Farmland Preservation Annual Report – December 1, 2018

Executive Summary:

This report presents the primary accomplishments of the Office of Farmland Preservation (OFP) for the period of December 1, 2017 – November 30, 2018.

Significant accomplishments for OFP during this reporting period include the following:

• Continued to work with key agriculture, conservation, and government partners to refine the allocation process for state matching funds to local purchase of development rights (PDR) programs;

• Allocated $308,076.17 in state matching funds to five local PDR programs, of which $250,000 was new funding and $58,076 was reallocated funding from FY 2015;

• Worked with local PDR programs to permanently preserve 319 acres (two easements) of working farm and forest lands in two localities. OFP provided $126,360 of the $450,000 in total purchase price and transaction costs paid for these easements;

• Delivered two workshops/presentations to a variety of audiences. Topics included resiliency priorities for Virginia and important issues for the African American farm and forest landowner communities;

• Continued to oversee the Virginia Farm Link database. During the reporting period, 16 active farm owners received 22 individual requests from six active farm seekers interested in discussing various transition options;

• Allocated $25,000 to Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) to reimburse VCE for 10 workshops designed to help farm families and professional service providers transition farms and farming operations and to create a forestry land transition workbook entitled “Generation NEXT: Keeping Your Woodland Intact, In Forest and in Your Family’s Hands," which is intended as a companion to the “Planning the Future of Your Farm" workbook; and

• Continued collaboration with the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation on the management of the Certified Farm Seekers Program. During the reporting period, one farm seeker was certified.