Meet Our Partners: The Farm and Ranchland Protection Program

The federal government is a key partner in High Mowing's effort to conserve this beautiful land atop Abbot Hill. The Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP), a program staffed by the National Resource Conservation Service, is providing half the funds needed to purchase the conservation easements on both the land already owned by High Mowing and the 101 acres soon to be bought from Gary and Gail Frye.

The purpose of the FRPP was to provide matching funds to those seeking to purchase the development rights on land, i.e. a conservation easement, with the intent of keeping those land in agricultural use. Through the FRPP, the USDA would partner with towns, states, and organizations to provide up to 50% of the fair market value on those easements.

In the case of High Mowing, the FRPP awarded a grant for almost $300,000 for the easement on the 53 acres being conserved by High Mowing, and over $500,000 for the 101 acres currently owned by the Fryes.

The FRPP was repealed as part of the 2014 Farm Bill, and replaced with the Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) Program. ALE will function in largely the same ways. ALE aims to "protect the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses."