RD788 - Office of Farmland Preservation Annual Report – December 1, 2021

Executive Summary:

This report presents the primary accomplishments of the Office of Farmland Preservation (OFP) for the period of December 1, 2020 – November 30, 2021.

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 $270,000 in fiscal year (FY) 2021 state matching funds to five local PDR programs, of which $250,000 was new funding and $20,000 was earned interest;

• Worked with local PDR programs to permanently preserve 152 acres (one easement) of working farm and forest lands. OFP provided $75,457 of the $150,915 total purchase price and transaction costs paid for these easements;

• Launched a new and improved Virginia Farm Link website at virginiafarmlink.org, with improved functionality and updated interface, as well as an expanded resource library for both existing and new agricultural producers;

• Allocated $16,000 to Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) to reimburse VCE for (i) workshops it conducted to help farm families and professional service providers transition farms and farming operations and (ii) online workshops and webinars of interest to agricultural producers, to be recorded and published on the new Virginia Farm Link website; and

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