HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's Agricultural Land Preservation Board today safeguarded 2,359 additional acres on 26 farms in 13 counties through the state's nationally renowned farmland preservation program.
The board preserved farms in Berks, Butler, Chester, Crawford, Cumberland, Erie, Juniata, Lancaster, Lycoming, Northampton, Perry, Union and York counties.
Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1.2 billion to preserve 486,628 acres on 4,558 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.
"Our farmland preservation program's success is the partnership between government, non-profit organizations and the producers who enroll their land in the program," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "Working together, we're preserving Pennsylvania agriculture for generations of farm families to come."
The board approved at the meeting a $30 million state funding threshold for 2014 easement purchases. Counties across Pennsylvania have certified $16.6 million for farmland preservation in 2014.
The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program identifies properties and slows the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses. It 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 $4.2 million in federal reimbursements.
For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search "farmland preservation."
Media contact: Will Nichols, 717-787-5085
A list of the farms preserved follows:
The Robert I. and Louise M. Rick, Virginia and Rick Durkin and Rosemary R. DiNunzio farm #1, a 182.2-acre crop farm
The William W. and Laura B. Lesher farm #2, a 75.2-acre crop farm
The Bruce A. and Cathy J. Light farm #1, a 113.7-acre crop farm
The Wayne C. Schrack Jr. farm #1, a 42.7-acre crop farm
The Larry P. and Billie Jean Stoudt farm #1, a 68.2-acre crop farm
The Scott A. Troutman, Debra A. Keiffer, Susan E. Lowe and Diane L. Yingling farm #1, a 189.2-acre crop and livestock operation
The Steven Lange farm, a 117.86-acre crop and livestock operation
The Samuel A. Goodley Jr. farm, a 22.1-acre crop farm
The David R. and Ruthann Keirn and Douglas G. and Jessica D. Engle farm, a 10.66-acre crop farm
Plainfield Farm LP, a 42.95-acre crop and dairy farm
The Benjamin S. and Katie S. Stoltzfus farm, a 33.71-acre crop and livestock operation
The Christopher D. and Nikki L. Shearer farm, a 200.61-acre crop and livestock operation
The John and Eva Reiff farm #2, a 129.1-acre crop farm
The Josephine Byham farm #1, a 147.06-acre crop farm
The Peoples Dairy Farm, a 100.74-acre crop and livestock farm
The Harvey W. and Susan L. Espenshade farm #2, a 73.89-acre crop farm
The Ira B. Landis farm, a 111.61-acre crop and livestock operation
The Farnsworth Farms Inc. farm #3, a 53.29-acre crop farm
The Watson Antes Estate farm #2, a 78.18-acre crop farm
The William A. Humphries farm, a 34.04-acre crop farm
The Gerald E. and Barbara Reph farm, a 49.61-acre crop farm
The Philip and Travis McKeehan farm #1, a 136.85-acre crop and livestock operation
The Christopher J. Lee farm #1, a 58.58-acre crop farm
The Daryl Beiler farm #1, a 99.93-acre crop farm
The Flinchbaugh Farms LP farm #1, a 65.51-acre crop farm
The Grimmel Farms LP farm #2, a 121.4-acre crop farm
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture