HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Agriculture Secretary George Greig today announced the protection of 26 Pennsylvania farms totaling 2,363 acres, putting the commonwealth on track to safeguard its half-millionth acre of farmland from development by the end of 2014.
Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1.2 billion to preserve 493,786 acres on 4,638 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.
"We're closing in on the major 500,000-acre milestone for our nation-leading farmland preservation program," said Greig. "But just as important are each acre we preserved today and all others safeguarded since the program began in 1988. Each one brings us closer to preserving our state's best farmland for production agriculture for generations to come."
The announcement took place during today's Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board meeting. The board took action to preserve farms in nine counties: Adams, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Erie, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lehigh and Lycoming counties.
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 Romaine Alwine Trust farm, a 90.71-acre crop and livestock operation
The Corporation of the Roman Catholic Clergymen farm #1, a 146.37-acre crop and livestock operation
The Corporation of the Roman Catholic Clergymen farm #2, a 310.23-acre crop and livestock operation
The James L. and Gail J. Crooke farm, a 42.58-acre crop farm
The Leroy W. and Diann L. Diehl farm, a 48.26-acre crop farm
The Robert and Doris J. Huntzinger farm, a 99.88-acre crop farm
The J. Philip and Joy N. Johnson farm, a 34.28-acre crop farm
The Joseph M. Wicen, a 78.18-acre crop farm
Glenville Farms, a 77.06-acre crop and livestock operation
The MFP Partners LP farm, a 121.08-acre crop farm
The Benuel and Emma Stoltzfus farm, a 52.41-acre crop and livestock operation
The Wade Vonada farm #2, a 51.10-acre livestock operation
The Dale Koppenhaver farm #1, a 171.45-acre crop farm
The Karl and Nancy Laudenslager farm #4, a 62.62-acre crop farm
The Karl and Nancy Laudenslager farm #5, a 52.99-acre crop farm
The Eugene and Janice Sweigard farm, a 135.12-acre crop and livestock operation
The J. Robert and Thomas L. Taylor farm, a 201.61-acre crop and livestock farm
The Harold M. III and Anna M. Barley farm, a 60.49-acre crop farm
The Blake A. Brubaker farm, a 44.23-acre crop farm
The Christian S. and Susie S. Glick and Martin Family farm, a 56.46-acre crop and livestock operation
The Amos C. and Lydia Anne King farm, a 56.16-acre crop and livestock operation
The Enos S. and Rachel K. King farm, a 57.08-acre crop and dairy farm
The Lance and Megan Nimmo farm, a 79.64-acre crop farm
The Mark E. and Doreen A. Petre farm, a 74.97-acre crop and livestock operation
The Walter H. Snyder farm, a 38.11-acre crop and livestock operation
Watson N. Antes Estate #3, a 120-acre crop farm
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture