HARRISBURG, Pa., April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's Agricultural Land Preservation Board today protected 1,493 additional acres on 18 farms in 12 counties from development through the state's nationally renowned farmland preservation program.
The board preserved farms in Bucks, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Greene, Lancaster, Monroe, Northampton, Northumberland and Pike counties.
Since the program began in 1988, state, county and local governments have invested nearly $1.2 billion to preserve 473,094 acres on 4,403 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.
"As the cornerstone of Pennsylvania's economy and a way of life for more than 62,000 families, agriculture is important to Governor Tom Corbett," Agriculture Secretary George Greig said. "On his behalf, I thank the producers who are participating in this program. They're ensuring that the state will remain an agricultural powerhouse for generations to come."
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program identifies properties and slows the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses.
The program enables state, county and local governments to purchase conservation easements, also called development rights, from owners of quality farmland.
In some cases, the federal Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program provides additional assistance. Last fiscal year, Pennsylvania received $6.1 million in federal reimbursements, the largest amount ever.
For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search "farmland preservation."
Media contact: Will Nichols, 717-787-5085
Editor's Note: A list of the farms preserved follows:
The A.P. Creations L.P. and Serenity Investors farm, a 151.78-acre crop farm
The Barry, Christine, Jay and Marvin Grace farm, a 71.15-acre crop farm
The Linda and Roy Christman farm #2, a 10-acre crop farm
The Jay and Leslie Deitrich farm #1, a 57.04-acre crop farm
The Pamela and Wade Vonada farm #1, a 57-acre livestock farm
The Mary Deitch farm, a 128.44-acre crop farm
The Donald Strock farm, an 85.78-acre crop and livestock operation
The Charles and Connie Mae Baughman farm #1, a 37.51-acre crop farm
The Harley and Janet Gapen farm #1, a 112.07-acre crop farm
The James and Leah Fidler farm, a 70.08-acre crop and livestock operation
The Betty and Elmer Gruber farm, a 110.84-acre crop and livestock operation
The Karen and Melvin Huber farm, a 61.76-acre crop and livestock operation
The Crystal and James Sherer farm, an 85.36-acre crop and livestock operation
The Laurene Costenbader farm, a 97.29-acre crop farm
The Joel and Shirley Jacobson farm, a 30-acre crop farm
The Joseph and John Scencsits farm #2, an 87.35-acre crop farm
The Ileen Ranck farm #3, a 128.66-acre crop farm
The William Wehrmann farm, a 111.14-acre crop and livestock operation
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture