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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. To be considered a priority for the next quarterly ranking an application should be submitted by November 30, 2022.

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
APR Acquisition
Essex and Middlesex,
Westport & Dartmouth, Hampshire County
Approval Requests/ Monitoring

617-455-9204
Chris.Chisholm@mass.gov

Delia Delongchamp
Stewardship Planner
East of Worcester County
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

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

Gerard.Kennedy@mass.gov

Tyler Maikath
Stewardship Planner
Worcester and Hampden
Approval Requests/ Monitoring
857-289-4598

Tyler.Maikath@mass.gov

Michele Padula
APR Acquisition
Northern Worcester, Franklin, and Northern Berkshire Counties
Applications to APR Program

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

Jay Rosa
APR Acquisition
Southeastern MA, Southern Worcester County,
Hampden County, Southern Berkshire
857-507-5367
Jay.rosa@mass.gov

Tina Smith
Stewardship Planner
Hampshire and Berkshire Counties
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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