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Protected Farms Are Increasing In Fayette County

Fayette County’s merged government continues its effort to preserve agricultural farmland found outside the urban center of Lexington.  City council members were updated last week on the purchase of development rights program. 

PDR Director Beth Overman said the 13 farm applicants this year were the highest number in a decade.  Overman added eight of the 13 have already been approved for federal matching funds. “You all often ask us ‘is that federal money still going to be there.  Is it stable and yes, they actually increased it in the 2018 Farm Bill,” said Overman.

PDR Board Chair Gloria Martin said all the local dollars set aside to match federal money have been committed.  Council Member Susan Lamb said that’s likely to be a discussion point next spring during budget consideration.  “We’re up to level with each other as far as the existing applications and everything so I guess when you all start pulling in the 2021 applications is when we’ll need to start thinking about how do we move forward with for matches,” noted Martin.

Martin said it’s expected the federal match will also come for the remaining five applicants.  The PDR program now has protected more than 30,000 acres through 280 farms.  The ultimate goal is to protect 50,000 acres.

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