HARRISBURG, Pa., April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's Agricultural Land Preservation Board today safeguarded 2,778 additional acres on 28 farms in 13 counties through the state's nationally renowned farmland preservation program.
The board preserved farms in Bedford, Bucks, Center, Chester, Cumberland, Erie, Lancaster, Mercer, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, Susquehanna and Wayne counties.
Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1.2 billion to preserve 489,409 acres on 4,586 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.
"The best agriculture land is often the best land for development, but our farmland preservation program ensures prime soils stay in farming," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "I thank the producers who want to preserve their land and the people behind the scenes who make it happen. Together, we're preserving agriculture, the cornerstone of Pennsylvania's economy."
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 Ross and Yvonne Hershberger farm, a 319.9-acre crop and livestock operation
The Thomas and Karen Cochrane farm, a 60.1-acre crop farm
The Clay and John Campbell farm #1, a 181.3-acre crop and livestock operation
The Jamie and Tobi Ripka farm #1, a 107.9-acre crop and livestock operation
The Barbara Christ and Elwin Steward farm #1, a 26.9-acre crop farm
Greenpoint Farm, a 112.8-acre nursery
The Nelson, Joanne, Melvin and Karen Horst farm, a 62.9-acre crop farm
The M. King farm, a 59.9-acre crop farm
The McAfee Family Partnership farm, a 120.2-acre crop farm
The Joseph and Katherin McCammon Trust farm, a 162.7-acre crop farm
The Gary and Christine Biddle farm, a 113.4-acre crop farm
The Ralph and Linda Deitch farm #2, 138.8-acre crop and livestock operation
The Troyer Growers farm #1, a 171.8-acre crop farm
The Jay and Pamela Funk farm, an 85-acre crop farm
The R. and M. Sauder farm, a 34.4-acre crop farm
The John and Susan Davis farm, a 126.8-acre crop farm
The Donald and Valeria Dukelow farm, an 87-acre crop farm
The Stanley Detwiler farm #1, a 29-acre crop farm
The Emma Maynard Estate and Charolette Maynard farm #1, an 85.1-acre crop farm
The Jack E. Gebhardt II farm, a 38.8-acre crop farm
The B. and L. Lambert farm, a 19.8-acre crop farm
The Garry, Lynne and Timothy Landis farm, an 83.8-acre crop and livestock operation
The William Rowe Sr. farm, a 64.5-acre crop farm
The Clayton and Stacey Stine farm, a 110.3-acre crop farm
The Gary and Amy Anderson farm, a 137.2-acre crop farm
The G. Hetherington farm, a 23.4-acre crop farm
The Robert, Lori Lynn and Andrew Hubal farm, a 114.6-acre crop and livestock operation
The George and Jeanette Swingle farm, a 100.2-acre crop and livestock operation
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture