More than 4,300 Farms Now Preserved Statewide
HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board today protected an additional 2,358 acres on 27 farms from development through the state's nationally recognized farmland preservation program.
The board preserved farms in Allegheny, Berks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montgomery and Tioga counties.
Since the program began in 1988, state, county and local governments have invested nearly $1.2 billion to safeguard 465,953 acres on 4,320 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.
"Agriculture generates $5.7 billion in annual cash receipts, translating into an estimated $57 billion in total statewide economic impact," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "Preserving farmland is a key component of helping Pennsylvania agriculture remain strong. By enrolling in the program, our producers are ensuring future generations can continue to farm."
The state's farmland preservation efforts work through the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program to help slow 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.
After the meeting, state board review appraiser Brian Pedrick led a roundtable discussion about farm value trends influenced by the economy and shale exploration. He also answered questions about appraisal reports.
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 farms preserved at today's meeting follows.
The Genovese Living Trust, an 87.33-acre crop farm
- The Christine and David Dissinger farm, a 35.2-acre crop farm
- The Kelly and Rodney Hollenbach farm, a 36.5-acre crop and livestock operation
- The Helen Kosmerl farm #1, a 177.1-acre crop farm
- The Brenda Loeb farm, a 48.4-acre crop farm
- The Kervin and Mary Jane Weaver farm #1, a 66-acre crop and livestock operation
- The Carolyn and George Gregg farm #1, a 183.72-acre crop and livestock operation
- The Marian King farm, a 16.72-acre crop farm
- The Cheryl, Kandace, Steven and Thomas Nealy farm #1, a 67.07-acre crop farm
- The Steven and Thomas Nealy farm #2, a 161.66-acre crop and livestock operation
- The Ronald and Roxanna Buffington farm #1, a 76.32-acre crop farm
- The Masser Farms Realty, Ltd. farm, a 207.38-acre crop farm
- The Esther, Katie, Lloyd and Mark Burkholder farm, an 11.93-acre crop farm
- The Harvey and Susan Espenshade farm, a 142.14-acre crop and livestock operation
- The Rose Hanks farm, a 62.29-acre crop and livestock operation
- The KLE Partnership farm, a 93.16-acre crop farm
- The Ceil and Forrest Sheffy farm, a 10.35-acre crop and dairy operation
- The Christ and Sadie Sholtzfoos farm, a 73.11-acre crop and livestock operation
The Darren and Loren Elder farm, a 139.02-acre crop and livestock operation
The Jeffrey Bittner farm, a 63.82-acre crop farm
The Elizabeth and Marvin Shaffer farm #1, a 74.24-acre crop farm
The Warren Fenstermacher farm, a 156.09-acre crop farm
- The Lee Costenbader Credit Shelter Trust farm, a 79.24-acre crop farm
- The Kristen and Lynn Rudelitch farm, an 89.06-acre crop farm
- The Charles and Deborah Beaver farm #1, a 31.62-acre crop farm
- The Kathryn, Lester and Russell Halteman farm #1, a 50.13-acre crop farm
The Barbara, John and Michael McNeill farm #1, a 118.53-acre crop and livestock operation
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture