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Preserved, Historic Salem County Farm Sold at Auction
For Immediate Release: October 13, 2000 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic


The State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) today auctioned a 276-acre Salem County farm back into private ownership with deed restrictions that protect both the agricultural and historic value of the property -- a first under the state Farmland Preservation Program. "The preservation of this farm serves a two-fold purpose," said Agriculture Secretary Art Brown, Jr., who chairs the SADC. "It protects the land forever from nonagricultural use but, at the same time, we've been able to protect an important piece of New Jersey's history." Both farmland and historic preservation are important components of Governor Christie Whitman's million-acre open space preservation program. The former Strang farm in Mannington and Alloway townships was purchased by Surryya Manhas of Flushing, N.Y., for the high bid of $355,000. The SADC purchased the farm for $619,000 in March through its fee simple program. Under this program, the SADC buys a farm outright from a willing seller, then resells it at auction with an agricultural easement that permanently preserves the land for farming.

The SADC also placed a second easement on the farm to ensure protection of its historic structure - a 2-1/2 story vernacular Greek Revival-Italianate style brick house built in 1864. Preservation New Jersey earlier this year had included the house on its list of the 10 most endangered historic sites in the state. This marked the first time that the SADC added deed restrictions to a farm to protect historic value. Proceeds from all auction sales are returned to the state Farmland Preservation Program and used to preserve other New Jersey farms. The SADC administers the state Farmland Preservation Program. To date, 466 farms totaling 68,103 acres have been permanently preserved under the program.