M-NCPPC staff conducted 3 focus group sessions during the summer 2010 in Accokeek, Baden, and the Bowie area for the purpose of giving community leaders an opportunity to learn about the plan, become familiar with state legislation requiring it for counties seeking certification of the agricultural preservation program, ask questions about the impact of the priority preservation area (PPA), and give feedback on their priorities for farm and forest preservation. A PowerPoint presentation from those sessions (PDF) can be viewed online, as can a summary of issues and top priorities (PDF).
The goals of the PPA Plan are to:
Create and maintain links to local buyers to improve the market for county farm products.
Create viable economic opportunities for young and seasoned farmers in various agricultural industry sectors.
Increase awareness of agricultural opportunities for farm and forest landowners.
Increase the pace of land preservation and the clustering effect in order to capture the most valuable farmland for agriculture and related uses.
Maintain property values for land in the PPA, and protect landowner equity.
Protect agricultural lands through appropriate zoning and land use policies.
Provide opportunities to enhance agriculture support services and facilities.
The principal concept that defines agricultural land preservation is the protection, enhancement, and economic vitality of farm and forest enterprises. All Maryland counties that intend to have a certified agricultural land preservation program must include a PPA element in their comprehensive plan. To meet this requirement, Prince George's County has elected to incorporate the PPA into its planning process by establishing a Priority Preservation Area Functional Master Plan, which will amend the 2002 Approved General Plan. The identification of a PPA will bring the county closer to a comprehensive approach toward preserving farm and forest lands for future generations.