RD591 - Office of Farmland Preservation Annual Report – December 1, 2019

Executive Summary:

This report presents the primary accomplishments of the Office of Farmland Preservation (OFP) for the period of December 1, 2018 – November 30, 2019.

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 $633,831 in state matching funds to six local PDR programs, of which $250,000 was new funding and $383,831 was reallocated funding from FY 2016;

• Worked with local PDR programs to permanently preserve 905 acres (10 easements) of working farm and forest lands in five localities. OFP provided $794,980 of the $2,209,847 in total purchase price and transaction costs paid for these easements;

• Participated in 10 outreach activities with a variety of audiences to share the mission of OFP and to present on relevant topics, including Farm Link, succession planning, the Century Farm program, and land conservation resources;

• Continued to oversee the Virginia Farm Link database. During the previous fiscal year, 26 active farm owners received 34 individual requests from 10 active farm seekers interested in discussing various transition options;

• Allocated $20,000 to Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) to reimburse VCE for six workshops designed to help farm families and professional service providers transition farms and farming operations; and

• Continued collaboration with the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation on the management of the Certified Farm Seekers Program and improvements to the Virginia Farm Link website and database.