Lauren Bunting

Lauren Bunting

(Sept. 10, 2021) The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1977 and is part of the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

The Foundation purchases agricultural preservation easements that forever restrict development on prime farmland and woodland. MALPF settled on its first purchased easement in October 1980.

By the end of the 2019 fiscal year, MALPF helped landowners permanently protect more than 318,215 acres, on approximately 2,347 farms, from development.

The foundation has preserved farmland in all of Maryland’s 23 counties. Today, the foundation manages a public investment of over $752 million in permanently preserved land.

If you are the owner of eligible farmland and/or woodland, the foundation can help you by purchasing an agricultural preservation easement on your property. This will ensure that your property remains agricultural in perpetuity.

After selling an easement to the foundation, you, as a property owner, will continue to own and operate the farm as before. You may sell or transfer the property, but the land will be permanently preserved for agricultural use. The original seller of the easement may retain limited development rights.

MALPF is based on a partnership with local governments which appoint advisory boards generally of five members to assist in the administration process.

The local agricultural land preservation advisory board works with the local governing authorities to develop local rankings systems, approve easement applications, and review requests from program participants, making recommendations on those requests to the foundation’s board of trustees.

Each county has a designated program administrator to act as the primary contact with and liaison between the agricultural community and the foundation and the local governing authorities and the foundation.

The program administrator in Worcester County is Katherine Munson and she can be reached at 410-632-1220 ext. 1302.

— Lauren Bunting is a licensed Associate Broker with Atlantic Shores Sotheby’s International Realty in Ocean City.

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