Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program

The Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) is a voluntary federal conservation program that provides matching funds to eligible entities to buy conservation easements on farm and ranch land. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) may pay up to 50 percent of the appraised fair market value of the easement. The program was originally enacted in the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996. It was reauthorized and expanded in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill P.L.110-234) changed the purpose of the program from protecting topsoil to protecting “…the agricultural use and related conservation values of eligible land by limiting nonagricultural uses…” (16 U.S.C.§3838i). It also expanded the types of eligible entities and categories of eligible land. Most importantly, the 2008 Farm Bill changed the nature of the program from a federal real estate acquisition program to a federal financial assistance program that provides funds to entities for easement acquisitions. Funding for the FRPP comes from the Commodity Credit Corporation, the same federal entity that finances farm income support payments and conservation payments. The NRCS manages the program.

Downloadable Documents: 
American Farmland Trust
Northampton, MA: American Farmland Trust
Page Numbers: 
Publication Date: 
January 1, 2014
Literature Category: 
Fact Sheets and Technical Memos