(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that agriculture is a unique "life support" industry and that a need exists to assist those agricultural areas of the state which are experiencing the irreversible loss of agricultural land.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to provide persons and other entities an opportunity to voluntarily protect agricultural land and woodland in order to:
(1) Assist in sustaining the farming community;
(2) Provide sources of agricultural products within the state for the citizens of the state;
(3) Control the urban expansion which is consuming the agricultural land, topsoil and woodland of the state;
(4) Curb the spread of urban blight and deterioration;
(5) Protect agricultural land and woodland as open-space land;
(6) Enhance tourism; and
(7) Protect worthwhile community values, institutions and landscapes which are inseparably associated with traditional farming.
(c) Further, it is the intent of the Legislature to establish a West Virginia agricultural land protection authority, hereinafter "authority", to assist persons, other entities and counties to obtain funding from any source available to accomplish the purposes of the voluntary farmland protection programs.