Contact:          Deborah Bowers, Program Manager

Westminster, MD, Monday, July 22, 2019 - The Carroll County Agricultural Land Preservation Program will begin processing a new cycle of applications this fall and will continue accepting applications through August 30th.

Owners of at least 60 acres of farm or forestland can find an application on the program’s website, or call 410-386-2214. Owners of less than 60 acres may also apply if they meet additional criteria. Call 410 386-2214 for more information.

The program will have approximately $3 million for fiscal year 2020, according to Program Manager Deborah Bowers. Four programs are currently available to farms that qualify:  the county’s own Agricultural Land Preservation Program; the Critical Farms Program, which provides finance assistance to buyers of qualified farms; the Rural Legacy Program, funded through Maryland Department of Natural Resources grants; and the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation Program.

“Carroll County landowners have several programs to help them meet their needs, depending on the location and size of their property. All properties must have development potential to qualify. We have several good farms that have applied early to the program,” Bowers said. “All applications will be ranked according to soil quality and other important factors. We continue to have inquiries from owners of large properties in all parts of the county.”

Carroll County’s farmland preservation effort ranks in the top five most successful such efforts in the United States and is the top program in the State of Maryland. More than 73,000 acres have been preserved in Carroll County since farmland protection began in 1980.

A five-member Advisory Board appointed by the Board of County Commissioners advises on matters of policy and practice. The program will have a booth at the Carroll County 4-H Fair, July 27 to Aug. 2, to provide information.