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State awards nearly $1 million for two farmland protection projects in WNY

Two farmland protection projects totaling 446 acres in Western New York will share $900,000 in New York State funding.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the grants Thursday as part of nearly $35 million awarded to 40 farms in 19 counties. In all, 13,000 acres of agricultural land will be protected in the state under the latest round of funding.

The Farmland Protection Implementation Grant program provides land trusts, local governments and soil and water conservation districts with grants to offset costs of conservation easements to protect farmland from being converted to non-agricultural use.

The Western New York Land Conservancy will receive $389,651 for a land trust to permanently protect a 179-acre beef cattle operation located in Erie County that is owned by Warren Bippert Jr. and Brenda Bippert.

The conservancy will also receive $510,746 for a land trust to permanently protect properties totaling 267 acres that are owned by Gerald Mammoser and William Henry. It will help support three farm operations, including the largest dairy operation in Eden, according to the governor’s office.

More than $283 million has been awarded to nearly 300 farmland projection projects since 1996, protecting more than 73,000 acres of farmland in New York State.

"New York's farms are key economic drivers for communities across the state, and these investments will help support and sustain them for generations to come," Cuomo said.

The state awarded $7.7 million for seven projects totaling 3,343 acres in Central New York; $7.4 million for 15 projects totaling 3,492 acres in the Capital Region; $10.1 million for eight projects totaling 4,089 acres in the Finger Lakes; and $8.7 million for eight projects totaling 1,606 acres in the Mid-Hudson Valley.

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