HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's nation-leading Farmland Preservation Program today permanently safeguarded an additional 1,434 acres on 17 farms for production, Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding announced today.
Pennsylvania's program has now preserved 442,731 acres on more than 4,000 farms. Both figures are the highest of any state.
"The commitment to farmland preservation shown by Pennsylvania farmers is one that no other state can match," said Redding. "Our 4,073 preserved farms are critical to ensuring that agriculture will remain a strong, productive part of our state's future."
The farms approved today by the Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation board are located in Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Fayette, Lancaster, Lebanon, Northampton, Union and Westmoreland counties.
The state's farmland preservation program works through the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program, which was developed in 1988 to help curb 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.
With this purchase of development rights, farm owners create an agreement under which the land will forever remain in production agriculture, regardless of who may later own or work the land.
The easement purchases approved today represent a $6.7 million total investment of state, county and township funds.
Since the program's inception, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1 billion to preserve farms.
For more information about Pennsylvania's nationally recognized farmland preservation program, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and click on "Bureaus, Commissions & Councils."
Media contact: Matt Tindall, 717-787-5085
Editor's Note: A list of farms preserved at today's meeting follows:
HBR Partnership Farm, a 105-acre crop and dairy operation
- The 436 LALP Farm, a 140-acre crop farm
- The Erma M. Speicher farm, a 109-acre crop farm
- The Barry and Donna Werley farm, a 37-acre crop farm
The HMH Limited Partnership Farm, a 66-acre crop farm
The Jason and Ashley Daliessio farm, a 58-acre crop farm
- The John and Robert Ash farm, a 75-acre crop farm
- The Joan Patterson Farm, a 100-acre crop farm
- The Dwight and Kimberly Brubaker farm, 59-acre crop farm
- The Benjamin and Georgiann Burkholder farm, a 46-acre crop farm
- The Isaac and Mattie King farm, a 52-acre crop farm
- The Douglas and Sharilynn Wolgemuth farm, a 89-acre crop farm
- The Robert, Erma, Jean and Steve Strickland Farm, a 57-acre crop farm
The Nevin and Colleen Zimmerman farm, a 176-acre crop and dairy farm
The Henry Yeska Jr. farm, a 146-acre crop farm
The Kore and Miriam Yoder farm, a 86-acre crop and dairy farm
The Donald, Carol and Naomi Stoner farm, a 30-acre crop farm
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture