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Because the Harris property is used primarily for breeding, raising and grazing rodeo horses and cattle, it has become some of the best grassland habitat in New Jersey, officials say. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Conservation Easement Program and the State's Farmland Preservation Program will be utilized to preserve another 80 non-grassland acres of Harris property, used to grow corn for feeding livestock. In addition to permanently preserving more of the land surrounding the iconic rodeo, the funds from the preservation will allow Grant Harris to purchase land adjacent to Cowtown that had been rented for several years.The pasture lands support about 100 horses and 300 to 500 head of cattle. Officials Wednesday announced the preservation of 374 acres of land surrounding Cowtown Rodeo in Pilesgrove Township, a move which will help to keep the rodeo thriving. "I get to make my living at my hobby every day - it doesn't get any better than that," said Grant Harris prior the ceremony. to compete each Saturday night and thousands of spectators come to watch them.They seriously considered it, but turned it down, deciding to keep the property along U. Thanks to preservation programs, that rodeo -- well-recognized from the road where a giant cowboy statue and red and white cow serve as landmarks on Route 40 -- is here to stay.

Officials Wednesday announced the preservation of 374 acres of land surrounding Cowtown Rodeo in Pilesgrove Township, a move which will help to keep the rodeo thriving.

Grant Harris is seen on horseback rounding up cattle in part of the newly-preserved land.

The original 1990 conservation easement on the Harris property in Pilesgrove was the first permanently preserved farm in Salem County, officials say.

That project also resulted in the state establishing the 191-acre Featherbed Lane Wildlife Management Area, which is managed entirely as a grasslands preserve.

Two bald eagles are seen watching from a tree to the left.

New Jersey seems an unlikely place to be home to the oldest weekly rodeo in the United States, but it is.

But there was a time when Cowtown Rodeo in Salem County -- where real cowboys and cowgirls live, and hundreds of head of livestock grazing in sweeping pastures -- almost ceased to be.

It was 20 years ago that Betsy and Grant Harris, owners of the rodeo, adjacent flea market and surrounding land, were offered what they described as "a ridiculous amount of money" for their property. They said they wanted to pass Cowtown down to the next generation.

Typically we will ride to a nice local pub where we partake of a coffee and then ride back to the Wye Knot Inn for around 9pm.

So if you cannot arrive at 6.45pm then we will always be back later.

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