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Kent County farmland preservation reaches 3,000 acres

Kent County Commissioners recently passed two resolutions to secure funding for the preservation of nearly 234 acres of farmland in Sparta Township

Kent County’s Purchase of Development Rights Program gives money to farmland owners who accept a permanent deed restriction to keep the property for agricultural use. Currently, the county is pursuing rights from three separate families who own land along Peach Ridge Avenue in Sparta Township.

According to Kent County agricultural preservation specialist Matt Channing, the family’s decision to work with the county to preserve their land will protect it and provide local food security for generations to come.

The Linda Bradford Anderson Trust property is made up of four parcels totaling nearly 158 acres. It’s used for growing wheat and has been in the Bradford family for over 100 years.

The Bettes and Kingsbury family property total 76 acres and is used for growing corn, soybean and hay.

This latest land acquisition was made possible through state and federal funds and donations. The Agricultural Preservation Board selected these farms due to their abundance of prime and unique soils which will allow for a broad range of farming opportunities as well as their proximity to other protected parcels.

This acquisition will grow the program by nearly 8%, giving Kent County about 3,000 acres total.

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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