The Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP)

The Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) helps to keep land in agriculture and limit urban sprawl. The state or local government will buy 30-year or permanent development rights for the cropland or grazing land while the landowner maintains the right to ownership. In exchange for payment, the landowner agrees to implement a conservation plan on highly-erodible land and keep the land in agriculture. This was formerly known as the Farm Protection Program (FPP).

Land Use Cropland, Grazing land, Forest Land, or other land that provides buffers from development.
Focus Protecting agricultural use and conservation values of land by limiting non-agricultural uses.
Resource Concern Soil erosion, Water quality, Air quality, Wildlife habitat
Purpose The environmental purpose is to help keep land in agriculture and limit urban sprawl by providing funds to eligible states to help purchase easements that would preclude nonfarm development of productive farmland.
Landowner Benefits Landowners will receive revenue from the sale of the conservation easement. They maintain the right to own, use, and enjoy their property. Some landowners may enjoy an additional reduction in property taxes.
Description This program is designed to keep land in agriculture. Landowners sell a conservation easement to state or local government or non-profit organizations. The conservation easement restricts the development of the property to only agricultural purposes. In exchange for payment, participating landowners agree not to convert their land to non-agricultural uses and to develop and implement a conservation plan for any highly-erodible land.
Practices Landowners who sell a conservation easement are still responsible for managing the property.
Costs to Landowner The landowner contributions are not capped in relation to the value of the easement. Federal share is capped at 50% and cooperating entity share must be at least 25% of purchase price.
Eligibility Lands must satisfy the following criteria: 1) Contain prime soils or historical significance. 2) Be included in a pending offer with the easement buyer. 3) Be privately owned. 4) Be covered by a conservation plan for highly erodible lands. 5) Be large enough to sustain agricultural production. 6) Be accessible to markets. 7) Be surrounded by parcels that can support long-term agricultural production.
Contract Minimum covenant for conservation easements is 30 years. Applications for permanent easements are given priority.
Other Notes
Landowner Initiation
  • Contact the local Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) where you own land.
  • Ask about enrolling land into the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP).