Senator KRISTIN M. CORRADO
District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)
Increases cap on grants for farmland stewardship activities to $100,000 per application.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning farmland stewardship grants and supplementing P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-43 et seq.).
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Notwithstanding any other provision of the “Preserve New Jersey Act,” P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-43 et seq.), any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, the provisions of N.J.A.C.2:76-20.4, any requirements established by the State Agriculture Development Committee concerning grant programs for stewardship activities on land preserved for farmland preservation purposes, or any other rules or regulations concerning grants for stewardship activities on preserved farmland adopted by the committee, to the contrary, grant amounts available to farmers for farmland stewardship activities on preserved farmland may total up to $100,000 per application. Any monetary limit on the amount per acre with regard to such grants shall be adjusted as necessary to allow for the maximum grant amount of $100,000 per application.
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill provides that grant amounts available to farmers for farmland stewardship activities on preserved farmland may total up to $100,000 per application. Currently, the regulations, established by the State Agriculture Development Committee, implementing the grant program for stewardship activities found at N.J.A.C.2:76-20.4 provide that a grant amount may not exceed $200 per acre and a total grant amount of $20,000 per application.
This bill seeks to address the increased cost of farmland stewardship activities. Farmland stewardship activities, activities beyond routine operation and maintenance, undertaken on a farm to repair, restore, or improve lands preserved for farmland preservation purposes, such as the installation of deer fencing, soil and water conservation projects, and projects that improve the resiliency of farmland soils, have become prohibitively costly due to inflation and other cost factors. A higher cap on grant amounts to farmers for farmland stewardship activities will allow larger scale projects to be undertaken.