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Grants for at-risk farms announced

Feb 06, 2019 1:45 pm
The Columbia Paper is reporting two Columbia County farms have been awarded state grants that will help to keep 312 acres of important farmland under conservation easement. The awards are part of $35 million in Farmland Protection Grants that will protect 13,000 acres of farmland statewide. “We’re incredibly pleased that these grants have been awarded,” Columbia Land Conservancy Executive Director Peter Paden said in a press release. “These grants will ensure the viability of a new generation of family operations that exemplify the county’s agricultural heritage.” CLC submitted the grant applications on behalf of the Saulpaugh and Grimaldi families. The funds, from the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets Farmland Protection Implementation Grant, will be distributed once the families work with CLC to complete the projects and permanently protect the farms. Saulpaugh & Sons was formerly the largest supplier of fresh green beans in the Hudson Valley. As local agricultural markets shifted in the 1980s, the family transitioned the business into a grain operation. The grant will allow the Kukon Brothers to purchase the Saulpaughs remaining 115 acres of farmland and take over the grain operation, which will be protected from development and remain affordable. The Grimaldi award will protect two properties totaling 206 acres of farmland in Ghent and Stockport. M. Grimaldi & Sons is a family-owned and operated beef farm. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.