TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is pleased to announce the opening of the LeRay McAllister Working Farm and Ranch Fund (Fund) grant application period that opens on June 1, 2023.

“Agricultural land preservation is a top priority for UDAF,” said Commissioner Craig Buttars. “The LeRay McAllister Working Farm and Ranch Fund is how our department is working to accomplish this priority by providing avenues for farmers and ranchers to preserve their land.”

Formerly known as the LeRay McAllister Critical Land Conservation Fund, the Fund works to preserve or restore critical agricultural land in Utah by purchasing development rights on these critical lands. This allows farmers and ranchers to continue to utilize their land for agriculture and secures Utah’s local food security. This program also helps maintain open space, which benefits wildlife and keeps Utah’s landscape open and beautiful.

The 2023 grant application period for this fund will open on June 1, 2023 and pre-applications are due by June 30, 2023. Interested landowners must partner with an eligible applicant, such as one of Utah’s counties, cities, or towns; the Utah Department of Natural Resources or other Utah state agencies; and/or 501(c)(3) charitable organizations such as a land trust. Matching funds from another source are required.

For more information or questions about the Fund, individuals may visit ag.utah.gov/leray-mcallister-working-farm-and-ranch-fund or they can contact the Fund manager, Jeremy Christensen at jeremyc@utah.gov or 385-441-4106.