Florida Family Farm Preserved Through Rural and Family Lands Protection Program

Dan Conservation, Environment, Florida, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP)

Image by mixa74/DepositPhotos

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has announced the preservation of a Florida family farm through the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP). South Prong, a nearly 2,400-acre working timber and hunting property in Baker County, is being preserved through a rural land protection easement for $4,999,000.

“We’re thrilled to welcome South Prong to the growing community of generational farmers in Florida dedicated to the productivity and sustainability of our agricultural landscape through the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson.  “Protecting our rural lands through rural land easements enhances food security, keeps these properties in the local tax system, and ensures property owners comply with state conservation standards for land and natural resources.”


South Prong is a working forest and hunting property situated at the headwaters of the South Prong of the St. Mary’s River. The property includes 1,427 acres of uplands, of which 1,355 acres represent actively managed timber and 72 acres of other agriculture. Pine species on the property include slash, loblolly, and longleaf; stands range from semi-natural flatwoods to pine plantation, with a diversity of age classes. More than 970 acres of wetlands are considered as natural area, although 113 acres of wet flatwoods are used in active forestry. The remaining 860 acres represent mixed pine-hardwood bottomland and cypress swamp. The property also supports managed hunts, agritourism, and is also open to various youth and educational groups.

The RFLPP purchases the development rights to the agricultural properties through voluntary rural land protection easements, which prevent the future development of the land and allow agriculture operations to continue to contribute to Florida’s economy and the production of food, timber, and other resources.

Click here to see a story map of all completed Rural and Family Lands Protection Program projects.