Thursday, July 24th, 2008

The Morris County Agriculture Development Board has permanently preserved the Maria Young Farm, which spans the border of Chester and Mount Olive Townships.

ThE purchase by the Morris CADB restricts the land from non-agricultural uses, thus permanently preserving the 90-acre farm on Pleasant Hill Road.

The Young Farm is the 106th farm to be permanently preserved in Morris County. The property straddles two designated areas of the Highlands region with the Mount Olive portion located in the Planning Area, and the Chester Township parcel in the Preservation Area.

The farm is currently leased to Alstede Farms, which produces a variety of fruits, vegetables and melons.

In addition to its agricultural contribution to local farm markets, the farm provides beautiful views with its large tile silo, multiple barns, milk house and carriage shed.

The Maria Young Farm purchase was made in conjunction with a grant from the State Agriculture Development Committee, which provided 56 percent of the $2,550,028 acquisition price, with 44 percent funded by the Morris County Preservation Trust Fund.

In contrast to open space preservation, the landowner retains ownership of, and may even choose to sell, the preserved land with a deed restriction ensuring that the land will not undergo non-farm development. Agricultural development of the farm is permitted and the type of farming activity can change in the future.

The preservation of the Maria Young Farm brings the total area for preserved farmland in Morris County to 6,865 acres or the equivalent of 10.7 square miles.