LANSING — The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) honored George Cullers of Barry County for being the 50th landowner to donate to the state’s agricultural conservation easement program. A resolution from Governor Snyder was presented by MDARD Chief Deputy Director Ken McFarlane to Mr. Cullers for his donation of 137 acres to be used as permanent farmland.
“Michigan farmers, like Mr. Cullers, are the heart of this state, and they ensure we are continuing to think about future generations,” said McFarlane. “By donating the development rights on his farm, Mr. Cullers is setting an example for others to preserve farmland in our state.”
“I donated a conservation easement in honor of my late wife, Donna (Tobias) Cullers,” said George Cullers. “For nearly 160 years, this farm has been used for row crops, chickens, hogs and more. It only seemed right to continue in that tradition by preserving this land to be used as farmland forever.”
The event concluded with Rep. Julie Calley (R-37) unveiling a 50th conservation easement sign, which was placed on Cullers’ lawn.
“I am glad I could be a part of such a momentous occasion,” said Rep. Calley. “Mr. Cullers is one example of countless efforts of Michigan farmers to preserve our farmland and to keep our economy diverse.”
Landowners donate their development rights through a conservation easement to preserve the agricultural and open space values of their property. Donated easements make up 40% of permanently protected farmland and open space in Michigan. To date, the State’s Development Rights Program holds a total of 136 easements, preserving 25,000 acres; of that total, 50 agricultural easements have been donated, totaling 8,000 acres.
For more information on how to donate your land as a permanent conservation easement, visit https://www.michigan.gov/farmland or contact Beth Juras at 517-243-7949.
— Michigan Department of Agriculture
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