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For Immediate Release: October 29, 1998 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic

The historic Cottage Farm in Chesterfield Township, Burlington County, returned to private ownership yesterday through a public auction held by the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC). The new owner is David Atkinson of Lawrence Township, Mercer County, who bid $584,500 for the 167-acre property. As part of the Farmland Preservation Program, the farm can only be used for agricultural purposes.

Secretary of Agriculture Arthur R. Brown, Jr., noted that "Since the development rights on the property had already been purchased by the SADC, the auction provided a rare opportunity to purchase a preserved farm, with an outstanding historic home, for a very reasonable price." The farm was acquired by the SADC in fee simple in early October as part of its continuing farmland preservation efforts around the state. Proceeds from the sale will be returned to the Farmland Preservation Program and used to preserve other New Jersey farms.

The farm is bordered by a private country club, Black's Creek, dense forest and other permanently preserved farms and includes a historic farmhouse and several outbuildings. The farm complex is eligible for listing on the National Register for Historic Places.

Statewide, 331 farms totaling 50,425 acres have been permanently protected under the Farmland Preservation Program with more than 62,509 acres pending. This transaction represents the 12th farm preserved using the fee simple method, bringing the total acreage of farms preserved using this unique method to over 3,130 acres.