Farmland Preservation Program
The Farmland Preservation Program coordinates agricultural land preservation efforts in the County and supports agricultural economic development initiatives. Staff amends and updates the Monmouth County Farmland Preservation Plan and related County Planning Incentive Grant application, and provides assistance to municipalities in drafting the Farmland Preservation elements of their Master Plans and preparing Municipal Planning Incentive Grant applications. These efforts proceed from the initial planning stages through the purchase of agricultural easements to the monitoring and stewardship of the preserved farms. The program also handles Right to Farm matters.
The Monmouth County Agriculture Development Board (MCADB) is the appointed arm of the Farmland Preservation Program, governing agricultural preservation activities in the county, issuing decisions in right to farm cases, and making determinations about deed of easement compliance.
The Farmland Preservation Program and MCADB help maintain the viability of agriculture in the region by buying agricultural easements from interested landowners. The process retires the development rights to farms and ensures that the land remains devoted to agricultural use. The County works in partnership with the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC), local municipalities, nonprofits, and other government agencies. Landowners interested in preservation should contact Harriet Honigfeld at 732-431-7460. Those that are eligible will be asked to complete a nonbinding, Interested Landowner Form
Another important role of the Farmland Preservation Program is to support a farmer’s right to farm, resolving conflicts between commercial farmers and neighbors or local governments and deciding whether or not a farming operation conforms to generally accepted agriculture management practices. There are two avenues for addressing right to farm issues:
- The first is for qualified farmers to request a Site-specific Agriculture Management (SSAMP) determination. To obtain an SSAMP determination, a farmer must first file a SSAMP Request Form with the MCADB.
- The second is for aggrieved parties to initiate either the formal or informal Conflict Resolution Process. To begin the formal conflict resolution process, a neighbor or government official must file a Conflict Resolution Form with the MCADB. As an alternative, a farmer or complainant may request participation in the voluntary Agricultural Mediation Program (mediation request form).
A party may use a digital device to complete the SSAMP or Conflict Resolution Form, but the documents must be printed and signed before being submitted to the MCADB.
For a summary of the Farmland Program’s recent accomplishments see its end-of-the-year report: 2016 Farmland Preservation Program Accomplishments and Year-end Summary. Click the following links for a map and listing of all preserved farms to date.
Preserved farm owners may obtain a free, 3’ x 5’ wooden sign by completing an order form and returning it to the SADC.