Forum on protecting farmland at Essex Tech

Area residents have an opportunity to offer their views on potential improvements to a state program aimed at protecting farmland at an upcoming forum in Danvers.

The state Department of Agricultural Resources is holding a listening session on the Agricultural Preservation Restriction program from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 15, in the Smith Hall Auditorium at Essex Technical High School, 562 Maple St.

The session will be the latest in a series aimed to solicit public views on how the APR program might be enhanced to meet the evolving needs of farming. The program seeks to protect and preserve agricultural land from being developed for non-agricultural purposes.


Eligible farmers who voluntarily participate in the program are paid the difference between the “fair market value” and the “agricultural value” of their farmland in exchange for a permanent deed restriction that prevents uses of the property that will have a negative impact on its agricultural viability.

John Laidler can be reached at