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Farm Conservation

March Starts at Red Fire FarmSince 1986, Mount Grace has worked to protect more than two dozen farms around the North Quabbin region. A sampling of those farms can be found here

Mount Grace is a founding member of the Greater Quabbin Food Alliance,

Mount Grace uses a variety of tools to support farm conservation. One of the most valuable is the Massachusetts Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program, a voluntary program which offers an alternative to development for farmers and owners of significant agricultural land.

The program pays the difference between the "fair market value" and the "agricultural value" of farm land in exchange for a permanent deed restriction which precludes uses of the property that have a negative impact on agricultural viability. A pdf on program guidelines is available here.

The program supports farming in Massachusetts by keeping farms in active commercial use. Agricultural Preservation Restrictions are often an important tool for farmers to use to transfer their farms to their children since reducing the value of land to its agricultural value greatly reduces inheritance taxes. 

If you are interested in exploring options to protect your farm, please contact Land Conservation Associate Jamie Pottern at 978-248-2055 x22 or pottern(at)mountgrace.org.

For more stories about Mount Grace's farm conservation work, including our Campaign for Affordable Farms Initiative, see:

Campaign for Affordable Farms

Red Fire Farm Comes to Montague

Aurora Ranch, Royalston

Leigh Youngblood in Saving Land Magazine