👨‍🌾 Burlington County aims to enter three farms into its preservation program

👨‍🌾 More than 63,000 acres of farmland have been preserved in the county

👨‍🌾 Burlington is dedicated to keeping the farming industry booming

Burlington County Commissioners moved to preserve three landmark farms and allow them to enter the County Farmland Preservation Program.

The Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the preliminary applications for the preservation of three pieces of farmland totaling 310 acres.

The county will seek appraisals to purchase the development rights for the farms so they can remain in agriculture exclusively.

The new farms that received preliminary approval:

The Durr Farm in North Hanover, a 98-acre property used to grow flowers and produce

The Roohr Farm in Southampton, a 58-acre property used to grow hay and grains

The Russo Farm in Tabernacle, a 154-acre property used to grow fruits and veggies

All three farms are eligible for state funding to cover as much as 60% of the preservation costs. In addition, Durr and Roohr farms are eligible for federal funding from the U.S. Department of Defense because they are located within a five-mile buffer zone around Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

The buffer zones help minimize security issues and limit development and land use conflicts near the base. Since 2008, the county has preserved more than 2,300 acres in the buffer zone.

“All three of these properties have long histories in farming and contribute to our county’s tradition as one of New Jersey’s top agriculture producers,” said Commissioner Allison Eckel, the liaison to the Department of Resource Conservation.

More than 63,000 acres of farmland have been preserved in Burlington County, ranking it the number one county in the state for total acres preserved, and number 7 nationally.

“Burlington County has a wonderful agricultural heritage and our board is 100% committed to keeping farming a strong and vibrant industry in our county for both our current and future generations,” said Burlington County Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson.

Preserving farmland keeps land in agriculture and helps guard against overdevelopment which has become a growing concern, she added.

Earlier this year, the board gave final approval for the preservation of the Black Walnut Farm in Mansfield, the Brace Lane Farm in Tabernacle, and the Gatley Farm in Shamong. This will add another 138 acres to the preservation total.

Burlington County Agricultural Center, a preserved farm in Moorestown that the County converted into an education center devoted to agriculture.

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