- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The state agriculture department has granted $17.6 million to protect more than 6,400 acres of farmland across New York state, ensuring the land will remain agricultural and won’t be developed.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the funds will help preserve 21 farms in 12 counties, bringing the total acreage under the farmland protection program to approximately 59,000 acres.

The program protects viable farmland through perpetual conservation easements or shorter-term lease of development rights.

Since 1996, New York has awarded nearly $195 million for farmland protection projects in 29 counties.

Farms protected under the program remain taxable.

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