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UDAF announces $1,000 funding opportunity for agricultural conservation easements

Taylorsville, UT — The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) announces applications are now open for the LeRay McAllister Working Farm and Ranch Fund. $1,000,000 in new funding is available for agricultural conservation easements in Utah. This significant financial opportunity aims to support the preservation and protection of working farms and ranches across the state, ensuring that these vital lands remain productive and accessible for future generations in perpetuity. 

 “Agricultural land conservation is the key to our future food security. Preserving productive working lands ensures that future generations have the resources necessary to cultivate food and other products to nourish a growing population.”— UDAF Commissioner Craig Buttars.

The LeRay McAllister Working Farm and Ranch Fund uses appropriations from the State Legislature to promote agricultural sustainability and conservation, and provide essential resources for landowners seeking to preserve their agricultural lands through conservation easements which permanently restrict non-agricultural development, safeguarding the land’s agricultural use in perpetuity. 

These funds are a critical source of matching dollars needed to unlock tens of millions in funding from other sources to complete the purchase of agricultural easements. This mechanism multiplies the impact of the state’s initial investment allowing for a significantly larger pool of resources and underscores a shared responsibility among the stakeholders for preserving agricultural landscapes for future generations. 

Applications are open now through August 16, 2024, at 5:00 pm. For information on eligibility criteria and to apply, visit https://ag.utah.gov/leray-mcallister-working-farm-and-ranch-fund/. For additional information, contact Jeremy Christensen, UDAF Land Conservation Program Manager, at (385)441-4106 or [email protected].