Livingston County and the Genesee Valley Conservancy have announced that the Livingston County Agricultural & Farmland Protection Board will be accepting pre-applications from landowners interested in being considered for the next New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program or other state and federal farmland protection initiatives that may become available in the future.

The State PDR program buys conservation easements on the State’s most productive farmland. (A conservation easement is a permanent restriction on the future development of the land.) The program is completely voluntary, and the seller retains title to the land and can continue farming the property. However, the land will have permanent restrictions on commercial, residential and industrial uses in perpetuity. To date in Livingston County, 12 conservation easements have been completed protecting 7,412 acres through the state PDR program.

The State PDR competitive program reimburses farmers up to 87.5 percent of the value of the development rights on their land. The process of choosing the Livingston County farms to be submitted to the State will begin with a pre-application. All farmers wishing to apply to the State PDR program must complete the pre-application. These will be scored using criteria including amount of development pressure, quality of soils to be protected and farm viability. The highest scoring pre-application(s) will be invited to have full applications submitted to the State PDR program. These pre-applications may be used to select eligible farms for other future state and federal farmland protection programs. The Livingston County Planning Department, the Genesee Valley Conservancy, and the Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District in Geneseo work cooperatively to manage the pre-application phase.

Prior to submitting the pre-application, farmers must meet all eligibility requirements as specified on the pre-application. Eligibility requirements include having at least 50% USDA Prime Soils, Prime if drained, and Soils of Statewide Importance; being in good standing with local tax authorities; attending a mandatory pre-application workshop in February or March, and other requirements.

Two workshops will be held to provide landowners with information about the (PDR) program. Attendance at one of two workshops is required by all landowners prior to submitting a pre-application. Workshops will be held: Thursday, Feb. 28 from 7-9 p.m. and Saturday, March 9 from 10 a.m. to noon both at the Livingston County Government Center, 6 Court Street - Room 205/208, Geneseo.

The pre-application can be downloaded from the County’s website at:

Paper copies of the pre-applications and eligibility requirements can be obtained from the Genesee Valley Conservancy, the Livingston County Planning Department, or the Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District in Geneseo.

The pre-application deadline is March 29. The full application deadline to the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets has not yet been announced. It will likely be winter 2020. Farmers will be notified in Summer 2019 as to whether they have been selected to have a full application submitted to the State program.

For more information, please contact: Dave Bojanowski at the Genesee Valley Conservancy at 243-2190; the Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District in Geneseo at 243-0043; or the Livingston County Planning Department at 243-7550.

For more information on the New York State PDR program, visit: