FREDERICK, MD – The Frederick Agricultural Land Preservation Program has opened up an application cycle for the Frederick County Critical Farms Program. The Critical Farms Program assists full-time farmers in purchasing new farmland and also works to preserve the land.
Since the county program began in 1994, it has assisted 52 farmers in acquiring farms and preserved more than 7,248 acres of farmland. The program was created to help farmers compete with non-farm buyers who oftentimes have resources not available to farmers and therefore are in a more competitive position to buy farmland. Through the program, the County pays the farm buyer for an option to acquire an easement. The option agreement requires the new farm owner to make application to either the state easement program and/or other governmental land preservation programs within five years.
In order to apply, applicants must have a ratified contract of sale on a farm that meets the program’s minimum criteria. Interested applicants should contact Land Preservation Program Administrator Anne Bradley at 301-600-1474 or via email at ABradley@FrederickCountyMD.gov by Tuesday June 1, 2021.