Pennsylvania Adds 21 Farms, More than 1,400 Acres to Preservation Program

Feb 14, 2013, 10:43 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Preservation Board approves investing $33 million in saving farmland for 2013

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's Agricultural Land Preservation Board today safeguarded 1,445 additional acres on 21 farms through the state's nationally renowned farmland preservation program.

The board preserved farms in 10 counties. They are Armstrong, Beaver, Berks, Chester, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Northampton, Westmoreland and York counties.

Since the program began in 1988, state, county and local governments have invested nearly $1.2 billion to preserve 471,601 acres on 4,385 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.

"Governor Corbett is committed to preserving our state's farms and the way of life for our more than 62,000 farm families," Agriculture Secretary George Greig said. "I thank the producers who have enrolled their farms in this program. Their foresight will help keep a new generation of farmers farming."

The board approved a $33 million state funding threshold for 2013 easement purchases. Counties across Pennsylvania have certified $15.4 million for farmland preservation in 2013.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program identifies properties and slows 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. Last fiscal year, Pennsylvania received $6.1 million in federal reimbursements, the largest amount ever.

For more information, visit and search "farmland preservation."

Media contact: Will Nichols, 717-787-5085

Editor's Note: A list of the farms preserved follows:

The George Kepple farm, a 109.39-acre livestock farm

The James and Cathy Spiker farm #1, an 81.67-acre crop and livestock operation

The Louis Jr. and Ann Marie Chiesa farm, a 96.20-acre crop farm
The Edward and Lucy Burkholder farm #1, a 53.50-acre crop and livestock operation
The Erma Gruber farm #1, a 26-acre crop farm
The Russell and Carole Heiter farm #1, a 136.10-acre crop and livestock operation
The Jeremy and Cindy Martin farm #1, a 50.70-acre crop and livestock operation
The Joseph and April Rosenbaum farm #1, a 113.30-acre crop and livestock operation
The F. Mark and Kim Weber farm #2, a 40.20-acre crop and livestock operation

The Titus and Violet Beam farm, a 69.69-acre crop farm

The Ray, Amy, Dale and Thelma Kennedy farm #1, an 80.83-acre crop and livestock farm
The Ray, Amy, Dale and Thelma Kennedy farm #2, a 30.83-acre crop and livestock farm

The Deborah Funk farm #1, a 19.52-acre crop farm

The Nelson and Susan Sensenig farm, a 50.16-acre crop farm

The David Borcherding farm, a 43.19-acre crop farm
The Kenneth and Judith Faust farm #2, a 13.77-acre crop farm
The Charles and Doris Kull farm, a 39.29-acre crop farm
The Larry and Clarissa McEwen farm, a 61.91-acre crop and livestock operation

The John and Mary Ann McIlvaine farm #1, a 135.89-acre crop and livestock operation
The William Ober farm #1, a 130.90-acre crop and livestock operation

The Carl and Margaret Shaull farm, a 62.35-acre crop farm

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture