SOUTH BRUNSWICK – A 34.0378-acre equine farm has become the eighth farm in South Brunswick and the 54th in Middlesex County to be preserved now that it has entered the Middlesex County Farmland Preservation Program.
The county, with funds and contributions from the state and South Brunswick Township, purchased an agriculture preservation easement on the Voight Farm, owned by Jesse Voight of South Brunswick.
The total cost of the development rights for the farm on Davidsons Mill Road are $1,123,822.08. The state contributed $674,293.25, the county paid $224,764.42 and South Brunswick paid $224,764.41.
The purchase was completed March 9.
“My freeholder colleagues and I are committed to preserving as much open space as we can to protect the environment and safeguard the county’s agricultural past,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios.
This acquisition brings the county’s total amount of preserved farmland through the Farmland Preservation Program to 4,926 acres. More than 615 of these preserved acres are located in South Brunswick.
Overall, with the addition of the Voight Farm, more than 5,471 acres of farmland have been preserved throughout the county, including preservation easements purchased through the County Farmland Preservation Program funds, as well as purchases made directly by the atate, the municipalities, non-profit organizations and land donated to the county.
“Through the cooperation of the Township of South Brunswick, the state and the county, this land will be forever saved,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Carol Barrett Bellante, liaison to the county’s Open Space Advisory Committee who is a former South Brunswick councilwoman. “This is a great day for Middlesex County and the environment.”
Middlesex County’s Farmland Preservation Program purchases the non-agriculture development rights on farmland that meets criteria established by the Middlesex County Agriculture Development Board and the New Jersey State Agriculture Development Committee. The value is determined by two independent appraisals.
The farmland is preserved by placing an agriculture preservation easement on the property. The state, county and town share the cost of the farms’ development rights, with the state paying the majority of the purchase price.
Middlesex County’s program is strictly voluntary. Farmland owners interested in participating in the program must submit a formal application to the County Agriculture Development Board. Farm owners interested in the program can contact Laurie Sobel, senior environmental planner at the Middlesex County Office of Planning at 732-745-4014.