ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's Department of Agriculture and Markets says $8.5 million has been provided for conservation easement projects on five dairy farms.

The Farmland Protection grants are aimed at helping dairy farmers diversify operations or transition their farm to the next generation while ensuring the land forever remains in agriculture.

The state is accepting applications for farmland protection grants of up to $2 million. Eligible organizations are land trusts, municipalities, counties, and soil and water conservation districts.

All farmland protection project proposals must be submitted electronically through the New York State Grants Gateway .