The Morris County Agriculture Development Board has permanently enrolled the 12-acre Cogger Farm, a vegetable farm in Chester Township, into the county’s farmland preservation program.
It is the 26th farm in Chester Township to be enrolled in the county preservation program, and the 136th preserved farm in Morris County.
The Morris County CADB purchased a development easement on the property for a total of $357,750, or $30,000 per acre, from its owner Marie Cogger.
The State Agriculture Development Committee provided 60 percent of the funding, or $214,650, while the other 40 percent or $143,100, came from the voter-approved Morris County Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.
The agreement restricts the land from non-agricultural uses, but the Cogger and Young families retain ownership.
The Cogger Farm, located on Pleasant Hill-Gladstone Road, is located across the street from another preserved farm also owned by the Cogger/Young family. The 88-acre Young Farm was preserved in 2008.
Chester Township has the second-most preserved farms in Morris County, only behind Washington Township, according to Morris County Agriculture Development Board Director Katherine Coyle.
“This long standing preservation program has worked extremely well to help preserve Morris County’s agricultural roots, and to create a permanent and viable agricultural business district, especially in western sections of Morris County,’’ said Freeholder Christine Myers, the county governing board’s liaison on preservation matters.
In contrast to open space preservation, the agricultural landowner retains ownership of, and may even choose to sell, the preserved farmland. However, the land retains a deed restriction ensuring that it cannot undergo non-farm development.
Agricultural development of the farm is permitted, and the type of farming activity can change in the future.
Preservation of the Cogger Farm brings the total area of preserved farmland in the county to 8,026 acres or the equivalent of 12 square miles.
The Cogger Farm is the third preservation closing in Morris County in 2018. Another three farms, totaling 120 acres, are pending enrollment in the county program this year. For detailed information on the county’s agricultural preservation program, visit: