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Columbia Land Conservancy
Conserving Farmland

Conserving Farmland

Purchase of Development Rights

In order to protect active farmland and farm operations, CLC applies for grants on behalf of farmers to protect prime farmland, often in collaboration with partner organizations. Purchase of Development Rights grants pay farmers for conserving their land. The farms remain privately owned and operated but will be protected from development for future generations. To date, local farm families in our county have been awarded more than $24 million to conserve their land.

Preemptive Purchase Rights

CLC recognizes that a crucial part of keeping farming valuable in Columbia County is securing affordable access to protected farmland. In recent years, CLC has made use of a new tool, called a Preemptive Purchase right, which guarantees protected farms will remain owned by farmers, and sold at their agricultural value in the future.

To learn more about conserving land and what that means, click here to download a handbook!

Ground Leases

Agricultural ground leases offer farmers a long-term (i.e. 99 years) lease on land that has been purchased and conserved by a third party. CLC’s first ground lease project is the 200-acre Thompson-Finch Farm in Ancram, NY. This organic you-pick strawberry farm was at risk of being sold for development, but will remain a farm, forever, thanks to the support of more than 300 individuals from our community, and the hard work of our partner organizations Equity Trust, Dutchess Land Conservancy, and Scenic Hudson.

Learn more about CLC’s ground lease with Thompson-Finch Farm here.

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