Abstract: Since 1996, the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program, administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service of USDA, has been the federal government’s chief policy for preventing the urban development of agricultural lands. The program helps state and local governments and nonprofit conservation organizations to fund the purchase of easements on privately owned farms and ranches, permanently preventing development. How the FRPP has dealt with a complex intergovernmental delivery network is the theme of this article. Examining the program’s participation requirements and funding patterns, we find that the FRPP operates differently from other federal assistance programs. In its short history, it has pursued an intergovernmental strategy of accommodating state and local interests while vigorously retaining core agency values and centralized control.

See article here: Federal Policy for Preserving Farmland:  The Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program by Alvin D. Sokolow.