- Associated Press - Monday, January 12, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Farmland preservation grants totaling nearly $1.6 million have been awarded to six Virginia localities.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is allocating $286,983 each to the following counties: Albemarle, Fauquier (faw-KEER’), James City and Stafford, as well as the city of Virginia Beach. Clarke County will receive a $146,778.

Announcing the grant funding Monday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe says it is a step toward his administration’s goal of permanently conserving 400,000 acres of open space and farmland.

Localities use the grant money to preserve working farmland through the purchase of development rights.

Since 2008, state matching funds through the program have totaled nearly $10 million.

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