HARRISBURG, Pa., June 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An additional 1,469 acres of prime farmland on 16 farms have been protected through Pennsylvania's nationally recognized farmland preservation program, the Department of Agriculture said today.
"Pennsylvania is the national leader in farmland preservation, and today 16 more families protected their land from development, ensuring it will continue to be farmed for many generations," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "I thank these families for their commitment to keeping our agriculture industry and economy growing."
The farms approved by the State Agricultural Land Preservation Board today are in Adams, Beaver, Bucks, Columbia, Cumberland, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne and Susquehanna counties.
During the program's 23-year history, 451,994 acres on 4,173 farms have been safeguarded for future generations.
The state'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. The program enables state, county and local governments to purchase conservation easements, also called development rights, from owners of quality farmland.
Since the program's inception, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1.1 billion to preserve farms.
Greig added that farm succession planning is essential to ensuring producers are available to farm preserved land, and the Center for Farm Transitions can offer assistance to find the next generation of farmers. A number of resources are available at the center's website, www.iplantofarm.com.
For more information about Pennsylvania's nation-leading farmland preservation program, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search "farmland preservation."
Media contact: Nicole L. C. Bucher, 717-787-5085
Editor's Note: A list of farms preserved at today's meeting follows:
- The William and Debra Brent farm, a 38-acre apple and peach orchard
- The Lori Sewell farm, a 73-acre Christmas tree farm
- The Rick and Wanda Spahr farm, a 104-acre crop and livestock operation
- The Robert and Arlene Kauffman farm, a 53-acre crop farm
- The Michael Feeney farm, a 68-acre nursery
- The Thomas and Carolyn Keating farm, a 63-acre crop farm
- Dale and Suzanne Moore, a 115-acre crop farm
- The Dale and Emma Hair farm, a 98-acre crop farm
- The Donald Strock et al farm, a 117-acre crop farm
- The Matthew Metz farm, a 100-acre beef operation
- The Randall and Jodie Brubaker farm, a 123-acre crop farm
- The A. Dale and P. Fay Herr farm, a 79-acre grain operation
- The Vivian Swope farm, a 119-acre crop farm
- The Timothy and Teresa Billig farm, an 89-acre crop and hog operation
- The Joseph and Patricia Gans farm, a 140-acre crop farm
- The Scott and Betty Hall farm, an 89-acre beef operation
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture