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Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program Details

Learn about APR program requirements, resources, policies, and guidelines

Overview

It is essential to keep the agricultural industry in Massachusetts thriving. The APR Program helps to preserve agricultural land to keep valuable farmland soil from being built on by development companies for non-agricultural purposes that could be detrimental to the environment. The program offers to pay farmland owners the difference between the "fair market value" and the "agricultural value" of their farms in exchange for a permanent deed restriction which prevents any use of the property that will negatively impact its future agricultural viability.

It is a voluntary program for farmers who are faced with a decision regarding the future use of their farms. The main objective of the APR program is to protect productive farmland with the deed restrictions and revitalize the agricultural industry by making land more affordable to farmers and their operations more financially secure. The program accepts applications on a rolling basis. In order to be considered a priority for the next funding cycle applications should be submitted by July 23, 2021.

Program Eligibility

Landowners with at least five acres of land with suitable soils in agricultural production for the last two years.

Primary Requirements:

  1. Farm must be at least five (5) acres in size.
  2. Land has to have been actively devoted to agriculture for the two (2) immediately preceding tax years.
  3. Farm must produce at least $500 in gross sales per year for the first five acres plus $5 for each additional acre or 50 cents per each additional acre of woodland and/or wetland.

Other criteria considered:

  1. Suitability and productivity of land for agricultural use based on soil classification, physical features, and location
  2. The degree of threat to the continuation of agriculture on the land due to circumstances such as owner's health, retirement, financial positions, development pressure, or insecurity due to rental agreements
  3. The size or composition of the land that determines if it is economically viable for agricultural purposes, and the likelihood that it will remain in agriculture in the future

Additional Resources for

Policies and Guidelines

APR Staff

Taylor Arsenault
Stewardship Planner
Requests for Transfers/ OPAVs/ROFRs
617-626-1348
Taylor.Arsenault@mass.gov

 

Christine Chisholm
Stewardship Planner
Northeastern MA
Approval Requests/ Monitoring

617—455-9204
Chris.Chisholm@mass.gov

 

Ashley Davies
Field Representative, Eastern MA 
Applications to APR Program

617-645-6772

Ashley.Davies@mass.gov

 

Delia Delongchamp
Stewardship Planner, Eastern MA
Approval Requests/ Monitoring
617-626-1737

Delia.Delongchamp@mass.gov

 

Dorothy Du
Administrative Assistant
617-626-1741

Dorothy.Du@mass.gov

 

Ron Hall
APR Acquisition Coordinator
413-726-2002

Ronald.Hall@mass.gov

 

Barbara Hopson
Field Representative
Hampden, Berkshires 
Applications to APR Program
413-726-2003

Barbara.Hopson@mass.gov

 

Gerard Kennedy
Director, Conservation & Technical Assistance
617-626-1773

Gerard.Kennedy@mass.gov

 

Michele Padula
APR Field Representative
Franklin and Worcester
Applications to APR Program

617-921-0051
Michele.Padula@mass.gov

 

Caroline Raisler
Stewardship Planner, Central MA
Approval Requests/ Monitoring

413-726-2006
Caroline.Raisler@mass.gov

 

Tina Smith
Stewardship Planner, Western MA
Approval Requests/ Monitoring

617-455-5201
Kristina.smith@mass.gov

 

Dave Viale
Agricultural Lands Program Supervisor

617-626-1202
David.Viale@mass.gov

 

Julie Weiss
Stewardship Planner
SARA Grant/ Federal Monitoring
617-913-5317
Julie.Weiss@mass.gov

 

 

 

 

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