FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 03/23/11
CUMBERLAND COUNTY- Four family farms totaling 171 acres were recently preserved by a partnership between Cumberland County, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Cumberland County purchased the development rights on the four farms. The farms will continue to be privately owned, and the owners have agreed to keep them in agriculture forever. They are:
The 70.7-acre Jones farm on Ye Greate Street in Greenwich Township.
The 45-acre Newton farm on Old Mill Road in Greenwich Township.
The 38-acre Garton farm on Northville Road in Upper Deerfield Township.
The 17-acre Kacewich farm on Drunken Bridge and Stow Creek roads in Stow Creek Township.
Cumberland County paid $800,576 for farmland easements on the four farms. Its costs were defrayed by a $358,389 contribution from New Jersey Conservation Foundation and a $100,065 contribution from the SADC. The county expects to be reimbursed for the balance of its contribution when more state funds become available.
The farmland easements were purchased using part of New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s federal Farm and Ranch Lands Preservation Program (FRPP) grant from the Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The FRPP funds were matched by Cumberland County farmland preservation funds for the easement on the Newton, Jones and Kacewich farm, and by State Agriculture Development Committee funds for the easement on the Garton farm.
“We’re very pleased to help Cumberland County preserve these farms, which will maintain the area’s rural, agricultural and scenic character,” said Greg Romano, assistant director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation and head of its land preservation program.
The farmland easement on the Jones farm was purchased for $274,000; the Newton farm easement, $195,850; the Garton farm easement, $195,202; and the Kacewich farm easement, $135,704.
“The goal of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmland Protection Program is to protect the long-term production capacity of our state’s prime agricultural lands,” said Janice Reid, assistant state conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “We are especially pleased to help preserve these four farms, which encompass some of the best soils in Cumberland County.”
“We’re glad to have that (federal) money to help preserve farms, especially in the wake of New Jersey not freeing up any bond money yet,” said Cumberland County Freeholder Tom Sheppard, referring to the $400 million bond referendum that was approved by voters in November 2009.
Since 2005, New Jersey Conservation Foundation has been awarded more than $22 million in Farm and Ranch Lands Preservation Program funds by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than any other New Jersey nonprofit. It has used the funds to help preserve thousands of acres of farmland in New Jersey.
The Foundation used its FRPP grant funds in Cumberland County for the first time last summer, when the federal funds helped the county buy development rights on the Burns farm in Lawrence Township.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private, member-supported nonprofit that preserves land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since 1960, it has protected more than 120,000 acres of open space - from the Highlands to the Pine Barrens to the Delaware Bayshore, from farms to forests to urban and suburban parks. For more information about the Foundation’s programs and preserves, go to www.njconservation.orgor call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).