NJ takes steps to keep farmland in the family

BRENDA FLANAGAN / NJTV NEWS – Frenchtown farmer Ryan Kocsis raises hay. He’s worked the fields since his teens, but always on leased land.

“I started out when I was 12-years-old. I bought a tractor and baler. Started making horse hay and straw,” he said.

Digging up $1.7 million to actually buy a 160-acre spread felt utterly out of reach for Ryan and his wife, Kim.

“We were working ourselves to the bone, just trying to be able to afford a place like this,” he said.

They worried a developer might buy the acres. But last year, the Kocsis family applied and qualified for New Jersey’s Farmland Preservation Program. Inspectors checked them out and approved $1.1 million to help buy the farm and place it under ironclad deed restrictions: the Perpetual Harvest Farm will perpetually remain a farm …

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