New applicants of the Carroll County Agricultural Preservation Program have until Aug. 30 to turn in their applications.

The program will begin processing the new cycle of applications from owners of at least 60 acres of farmland this fall, according to their press release.

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According to their brochure, the program is to preserve agricultural land for the future. The program pays willing landowners to permanently retire their land.

According to the press release, four programs are currently available to farms that qualify: the county’s Agricultural Land Preservation Program, the Critical Farms Program, the Rural Legacy Program and the Maryland Land Preservation Foundation Program.

“Carroll County landowners have several programs to help them meet their needs, depending on the location and size of their property. All properties must have development potential to qualify. We have several good farms that have applied early to the program,” said Deborah Bowers, program manager, in the press release. “All applications will be ranked according to soil quality and other important factors. We continue to have inquiries from owners of large properties in all parts of the county.”

According to Bowers, the press release states, the program will have about $3 million for fiscal year 2020.

“Carroll County’s farmland preservation effort ranks in the top five most successful such efforts in the United States and is the top program in the State of Maryland,” stated in the press release.

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