- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Seven counties and the city of Virginia Beach have received nearly $1.1 million in grants to preserve farmland within their boundaries.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the farmland preservation grants Tuesday from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Under the grants, participating working farmlands must be placed under permanent conservation easements.

Grants of about $150,000 each were given to the counties of Albemarle, Clarke, Fauquier, Isle of Wight, James City, and Stafford, along with Virginia Beach. Rappahannock County will receive an $11,000 grant.

Since 2008, state matching funds for the purchase of development rights program has totaled nearly $8.7 million.

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