Photo by Brian Rozman Photo by Brian Rozman

“Ensuring the long-term sustainability of Michigan’s nearly 10 million acres of farmland is the foundation for preserving our food production and supply,” said Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

SCIO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Seven farmland preservation programs in Michigan will share $1.8 million in grants.

The funding awarded by Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development along with the Michigan Agricultural Preservation Fund Board will allow the programs to close on permanent agricultural conservation easements.

The grants cover up to 75% of the costs for purchasing the development rights on agricultural land. It also helps pay for some of the closing costs associated with the conservation easements.

“Ensuring the long-term sustainability of Michigan’s nearly 10 million acres of farmland is the foundation for preserving our food production and supply,” said Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “These grants assist local preservation programs in purchasing development rights to preserve important farmland in their communities thereby protecting farmland for future generations.”

Some of the programs receiving grants are in Washtenaw County’s Scio Township, Ottawa County, Kent County and Barry County.