GREENWICH, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA) is accepting pre-applications from Washington and Rensselaer County farmers for the state farmland protection program through October 31. The state program provides financial compensation to farmers who voluntarily wish to conserve their farms for agricultural use by selling their development rights.

Farmers often use the funds to make improvements on the farm, expand or diversify their operation, purchase support land, help transfer the farm to the next generation, or other ways to increase farm viability.

For the selected pre-applications, ASA, with the endorsement of the Wahington and Rensselaer Counties Agricultural and Farmland Protection Boards, writes the grants free of charge and submits them to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets for consideration. The state ranks the proposals on a regional basis.

Copies of the pre-application are available on ASA’s website, by emailing chris@agstewardship.org, or stopping at ASA’s office at 2531 State Route 40 in Greenwich.