HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board today voted to preserve 2,331 additional acres on 21 farms in 17 counties through the state's nationally recognized farmland preservation program.
The newly preserved farms are located in Adams, Bedford, Berks, Bucks, Columbia, Crawford, Dauphin, Erie, Franklin, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northumberland, Perry, Washington, Wayne and Westmoreland counties.
"Since I joined the Department of Agriculture in February, we've preserved nearly 13,000 acres of farmland across the state," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "Pennsylvania's farm families realize the importance of agriculture not only as our state's number one industry – the cornerstone of our economy – but as a way of life for our farm families. I thank these producers for enabling a new generation of agriculturalists to keep Pennsylvania growing far into the future."
Pennsylvania's farmland preservation efforts work through the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program, which was developed in 1988 to help slow 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.
During the program's 23-year history, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1 billion to safeguard 457,537 acres on 4,229 farms.
For more information about Pennsylvania's nation-leading farmland preservation program, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search "farmland preservation."
Media contact: Will Nichols, 717-787-5085
Editor's Note: The farms preserved on Dec. 15 are listed below, by county:
The Joshua and Christopher Roberts farm, a 103-acre crop farm
The Kevin and Pamela Grubb farm #1, a 79-acre crop farm
- The Larry and Denise Grumbine farm #1, a 127-acre crop and livestock operation
- The Terry and Sue Kunkel farm #2, a 94-acre crop and livestock operation
- The Rachel Theis farm #1, a 70-acre crop farm
The Keith and Newton Comly farm #1, a 56-acre crop farm
The Oliver and Julia Larmi farm, a 50-acre crop farm
The Allen and Betty Hart farm, a 135-acre crop and livestock operation
The Gerald Lehman farm #1, a 174-acre dairy farm
The Robert and Mary Ann Thomson farm #1, a 105-acre crop farm
The Arlin Hege farm #2, a 108-acre crop farm
The James and Thelma Brubaker farm, a 108-acre crop and dairy operation
The Russel and Sandra Schantz farm, a 91-acre crop and livestock operation
The James and Patricia Keyes farm, a 64-acre crop farm
The Ileen Ranck farm #2, a 102-acre crop farm
The Edward Martin farm, a 291-acre crop and livestock operation
The John and Carol Kirschner farm, a 156-acre crop and livestock operation
- The Clyde and Doris Mead farm #1, a 53-acre crop and livestock operation
- The Noble/DeMauro farm #1, an 82-acre crop and livestock operation
- The Edwin and Brenda Hurst farm #1, a 76-acre livestock farm
- The John Jamison farm #1, a 206-acre beef farm
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture