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Nation IN BRIEF : NATIONWIDE

U.S. Moves to Help Protect Farmland

September 29, 1996|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Agriculture Department said it will spend $14.5 million to protect at least 50,000 acres of farmland from being gobbled up by suburbs and shopping malls. The money will go to 18 states that have set up programs and will support $55 million in overall spending by local, state and federal governments. The money became available through the Farmland Protection Program, created in the 1996 farm bill, which calls for spending $35 million over six years. Under the program, the Agriculture Department enters into agreements with states, tribes and local governments to protect farmland through the purchase of easements. Officials said that the biggest chunk of money, $2 million, is going to San Bernardino County in California.

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