COLONIE — The last 20 acres of Lansing’s Farm will be a farm in perpetuity.
On Thursday, Dec. 27, the state announced it granted the Mohawk Land Conservancy $389,710 to keep the farm along Lisha Kill Road a farmland forever. Equity Trust and the Mohawk Land Conservancy will also kick in $135,000 for the project.
The project “will enable the Lansing family to transfer ownership to the next generation and it will also ensure long-term affordability to future farmers by incorporating a pre-emptive purchase right,” according to the announcement.
The pre-emptive purchase right requires the Lansing family, if they want to give up the business, to sell the land to another farmer at agricultural market rate.
When it was founded in 1790, Lansing’s Farm was 1,000 acres. It is now down to its last 20, and the eighth generation proprietor Al Lansing, who has run the farm since 1964, has worked to stave off the ever present pressure to develop the rest of the land and keep it farmland.
That objective was stepped up a notch when his son, Patrick, moved back home from Boston to work the land alongside his father and siblings.
“When I started here there was nothing. My dad had had enough and I had zero to start,” Lansing said in a previous interview. “It’s been a tough 50 years, sometimes, but we managed to get through it. No one who saw it in 1970 would recognize it today.
“This country needs small farms to stick around. We are in a good location, surrounded by a great community and we want to keep it that way.”
The money comes from the Farmland Protection Implementation Grant program. This year it is part of a pot of $35 million awarded to 40 farms across 19 counties that will protect 13,000 acres of agricultural land throughout the state.
“New York’s farms are key economic drivers for communities across the state, and these investments will help support and sustain them for generations to come,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a statement.
The Farmland Protection Implementation Grant program provides local governments, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and land trusts with grants to offset costs of conservation easements to protect viable agricultural land from being converted to non-agricultural use.
The program is funded through New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund. The Capital District received $7.4 million for 15 projects totaling 3,492 acres.