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Option to Purchase at Agricultural Value

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Option to Purchase at Agricultural Value (OPAV) is a legal mechanism designed to ensure that agricultural land remain available for agricultural use into the future. The option has been included in some easements in Massachusetts beginning in 1994, and Vermont beginning in 2003. Where the market price for a parcel of land may be higher for non-agricultural uses, it offers an easement holder (typically a land trust, government agency, or other organization) to purchase it at a lower price. The organization may then lease the land to farmers. It is hoped that the option will give new farmers a better chance of accessing affordable land. Due to its newness, the option is largely untested. As of Fall 2012 the option has only been exercised once.

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