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By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer
NORTH SMITHFIELD – The R.I. Agricultural Land Preservation Commission has purchased the development rights to the 18-acre Clifford Farm on Iron Mine Hill Road from the Clifford family for $400,000, the agency announced Tuesday.
The transaction prevents the property, which the Clifford family had farmed since the 19th century, from being used for anything other than agriculture.
Under the transaction, the property will remain privately owned by Wright’s Dairy Farm of North Smithfield, which has been running the farm for the last several years after John Clifford retired from farming at age 91.
The land will help Wright’s Dairy Farm expand its operations, grow feed for its animals and utilize manure produced there for fertilizer, a statement from the R.I. Department of Environmental Management said.
“One of Rhode Island’s greatest assets is our spectacular natural environment. I am pleased that, through cooperation at all levels of government, Clifford Farm will not only be preserved and protected for generations to come, but will remain a working farm, contributing to Rhode Island’s important agricultural industry,” said Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee in the news release.
Half of the acquisition cost came from Agricultural Land Preservation Commission and the other half from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.