PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Ken Ayars, chief of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Division of Agriculture will be available to answer questions about the State's new Farmland Acquisition Program (FAP). FAP, which was approved by voters as part of an environmental bond in 2014, helps ensure Rhode Island's farmlands remain in farming. DEM will review draft Rules & Regulations for FAP and gather public input during a workshop at 5:30 p.m. today at DEM Headquarters, 235 Promenade Street, Room 300, Providence. A second public workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, September 7, 2016.
WHO: Ken Ayars, Department of Environmental Management
WHAT: Media availability on Farmland Acquisition Program
WHEN: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 – 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: DEM Headquarters, 235 Promenade Street, Room 300, Providence
DEM continues to work across many fronts to strengthen Rhode Island's green economy and to promote the viability of local agriculture. The state's green industries account for more than 15,000 jobs and contribute $2.5 billion to the economy each year. And local agriculture continues to be a hotbed for innovation and entrepreneurship – with the number of farms in Rhode Island on the rise and a growing young farmer network. Access to land, however, continues to be a challenge for many farmers. FAP allows DEM to partner with the State's Agricultural Land Preservation Commission and willing sellers to purchase farmland at risk of development, protect it, and affordably sell it to farmers looking for land. As part of the 2014 Clean Water, Open Space and Healthy Communities bond measure, $3 million is available for farmland preservation. During tonight's public workshop, DEM will highlight and gather input on a preliminary outline of the FAP program.
For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visitwww.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.