ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Board of Public Works approved 26 new Maryland Agricultural Preservation Foundation easements May 19 during a virtual board meeting, including four on the Mid-Shore. These easements will permanently preserve an additional 3,273 acres of prime Maryland farmland for an investment of $13.6 million in state and local funding.
“Maryland has one of the most robust agricultural land preservation programs in the country,” said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “These approved easements reaffirm the state’s commitment to ensuring farming stays viable in Maryland and that agricultural land is protected from development. I am proud to see that 3,273 additional acres of farmland across the state will now stay in agricultural production forever, keeping our farmers farming, our people fed and clothed, and our state’s agriculture industry strong.”
Local easements include one farm of 119.52 acres in Caroline County for $385,190; two farms consisting of 367.113 acres in Queen Anne’s County for $1,426,274.50; and one farm of 228.77 acres in Talbot County for $953,211.
The Maryland Board of Public Works is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, and Comptroller Peter FranchotLast Wednesday’s easement approvals bring the total farmland protected in perpetuity by MALPF to 340,040 acres for a total public investment of $838,951,682.
MALPF was established in 1977 as part of the Maryland Department of Agriculture. MALPF purchases agricultural preservation easements from farmers that forever restrict development on prime farmland and woodland.