HARRISBURG, Pa., June 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Agricultural Land Preservation Board announces Pennsylvania is adding 2,014 additional acres on 26 farms in 14 counties to the state's nation-leading farmland preservation program.
The board preserved farms in Berks, Blair, Bucks, Cambria, Chester, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Lycoming, Northampton, Perry, Washington, Westmoreland and York counties.
Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1.2 billion to preserve 491,423 acres on 4,612 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.
"Often the best land for farming is also the best land for development," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "By forever safeguarding this land for agriculture use, we're securing a way of life for farm families for generations to come."
The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program identifies properties and slows 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.
In some cases, the federal Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program provides additional assistance. Last fiscal year, Pennsylvania received $4.2 million in federal reimbursements.
For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search "farmland preservation."
Media contact: Will Nichols, 717-787-5085
Editor's Note: Farms preserved:
The Troy L. Koenig farm #1, a 101.8-acre crop farm
The Ralph Jr., Jean, Ralph III, Bruce and Dayonne Beck farm, a 141.92-acre crop and livestock operation
The Elsie M. Britt farm, a 58.42-acre crop farm
The Robert and Stephanie Zisko farm, an 87.85-acre nursery
The Brandon T. and Amy M. O'Donnell farm, a 91.9-acre crop and livestock operation
The Brendan R. Barnes farm, a 44.34-acre crop farm
The David and Sharon S. Cooper farm, a 103.15-acre crop farm
The Richard and Betty Esh and John, Mark and Almeda Yoder farm, a 204.52-acre crop farm
The Andrew Halupke farm, a 78.47-acre crop farm
The August E. Shwartz farm, a 72.13-acre livestock operation
The John Sarnoski Jr. Living Trust farm #3, an 18.99-acre crop farm
The Fred William Jr. and Deborah Ann Linton farm, a 52.43-acre crop and livestock operation
The Frederick G. Weaver farm #1, a 52.12-acre crop farm
The Frederick G. Weaver farm #2, a 57.51-acre crop farm
The Mark C. Heintzelman Jr. farm, a 93.85-acre crop farm
The Thomas J. and Sally A. Hoffner farm, a 29.51-acre crop farm
The Ralph W. Fogleman Jr. farm, a 32.8-acre crop farm
The Harry W. and Gayle L. Stryker farm, an 88.3-acre crop farm
The George and Lois A. Voorhees Revocable Living Trust farm, a 65.98-acre crop farm
The Edward F. and Margaret H. Weinhofer farm, a 23.17-acre crop farm
The Daniel J. Ziegenfuss farm, a 39.19-acre crop farm
The Todd J. Cauffman farm #1, a 130.85-acre crop and livestock operation
The David A. and Barbara J. Carlisle farm #2, a 104.21-acre crop farm
The Heinnickel Farms Inc. farm #2, a 192.41-acre crop and livestock operation
The Ray E. and Jean E. Manifold farm #2, a 23.65-acre crop farm
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture