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The ALPC is chaired by the Commissioner of Agriculture and is comprised of state officials and farmers. The role of this committee is to evaluate and accept or reject applications for the Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program (APR) based upon the suitability of land as to soil classification and other criteria for agricultural use; the fair market value of such land and the fair market value of such land when used for agricultural purposes as determined by independent appraisals and the degree to which the acquisition would serve to preserve the agricultural potential of the Commonwealth. The Commissioner may establish rules and regulations to preserve what may be deemed necessary to carry out the program. The committee will submit an annual report indicating the number and geographic distribution of applications accepted and rejected, and the acreage and cost of the acquisitions.
The committee was established as a result of Chapter 20, § 23, which establishes the APR for the acquisition of agricultural preservation restrictions for land actively devoted to agricultural or horticultural uses and pays the agricultural land owner to put a permanent deed restriction on the farmland. A town may participate in the funding of a restriction and is then considered a co-holder, along with the Commonwealth. Land under an agricultural preservation restriction shall be assessed at values no greater than those determined by the methods and provision of Chapter 61A, §10.
The Commissioner of Agriculture chairs this committee and other state agencies that are members include the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Department of Housing and Community Development, and Office of State Planning (vacant). Also appointed by the Governor, are five public members that consist of a dairy farmer, grain farmer, nurseryman and vegetable farmers.