farm scene

Farmland for Future Generations

Farmland Protection

Purchase Of Development Rights (PDR)

Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs pay farmers who voluntarily commit to protecting their farmland from development through agricultural conservation easements. Funding pays the farmer the appraised difference between the “development value” of the land and the “agricultural value” of the land. Upon entering a conservation easement, certain development rights are removed though the farmer retains ownership and agricultural use of land. Farmers, municipalities, and conservation partners, like land trusts, work together to establish and implement these projects. Municipalities and conservation partners annually monitor to ensure easement conditions are met. These programs can provide landowners with capital that can help enhance the economic viability of their farm operations or help transition farm ownership while also protecting the long-term legacy and environmental assets of the farm.

Tompkins County, in close cooperation with Cornell Cooperative Extension, the New York Agricultural Land Trust, the Finger Lakes Land Trust, and Town governments, works with farmers to access New York State's PDR program. The State's program is called the Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program and is administered through the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets. It is a very competitive statewide program that typically has one award cycle every other year. There are multiple funding categories for this grant, with specific eligibility criteria depending on the type of farm and the type of project. To find out if your farm might qualify you can review the summary of the current funding categories for our region.

The County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board is responsible for selecting and ranking potential projects during a pre-application process. The pre-application process begins in the spring of even numbered years (e.g. April 2024) and pre-applications are due the following August. For more information, email Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County.

Are you interested? Complete the 2024 Tompkins County FPIG Pre-Application


Crystal Buck
Farmland Protection & Ag Marketing Educator
607-272-2292 x265

Last updated July 5, 2024