Hibbits Ranch in east Lompoc made it official this week—it is going to be in agriculture forever. In a voluntary deal with the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County, the owners of the nearly 400-acre ranch off Highway 246 placed their property in a permanent Agricultural Conservation Easement (ACE) to be held by the Land Trust. The deal was made possible thanks in part to $2.4 million worth of grant funding from the California Farmland Conservancy Program and the USDA Farmland and Ranch Protection Program. Including the Hibbits, the Land Trust has now helped permanently protect some 37 properties throughout the county via an ACE, totaling 22,300 acres.


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