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Suffolk County To Invest $100M In Long Island Farms

County Executive Steve Bellone
Courtesy of Office of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
County Executive Steve Bellone

Suffolk County will invest $100 million over the next decade to preserve farms on Long Island that are at risk of closing.

The county would purchase the development rights to keep land in agricultural use. Farmers would keep ownership of the land itself and become eligible for certain grants.

County Executive Steve Bellone said overdevelopment and crops devastated by climate change have made it hard for some farms to stay open.

Suffolk County has protected about 11,000 acres of farmland since 1974; Bellone said the initiative seeks to conserve the remaining farmland.

Agriculture generates over $226 million in sales in Suffolk annually.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.