More than 470,000 acres now preserved statewide
HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's Agricultural Land Preservation Board today safeguarded 2,064 additional acres on 22 farms in 17 counties through the state's nationally renowned farmland preservation program.
The board preserved farms in Adams, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Butler, Centre, Chester, Dauphin, Juniata, Luzerne, Mifflin, Monroe, Perry, Potter, Union, Wayne and Westmoreland counties.
Since the program began in 1988, state, county and local governments have invested nearly $1.2 billion to preserve 470,155 acres on 4,364 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.
"Through this program, we're not just preserving farmland, but a way of life and a major economic driver for the state," Agriculture Secretary George Greig said. "Agriculture generates $6.7 billion in cash receipts and supports one in seven jobs across Pennsylvania. We're helping to keep farmers farming and securing a stable financial future in the state."
To help save the state's farmland, 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 federal reimbursements, the largest amount ever.
For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search "farmland preservation."
Media contact: Will Nichols, 717-787-5085
Editor's Note: A list of the farms preserved follows:
The Juanita M. Keech farm, a 181.40-acre crop farm
The Randall Wolf farm, a 126.13-acre crop farm
The Pearl Noll farm #1, a 49.20-acre crop farm
The Naomi Mae Stutzman farm #1, a 118.80-acre crop and livestock operation
The John B. and Karen K. Morrow farm #2, a 110.15-acre crop farm
The Rosemarie K. McIlwain farm, a 47.19-acre crop farm
The Amy, Charles M., Charles H. and Lois Andler farm, a 60.26-acre crop farm
The John I. and John R. Deibler farm #1, a 139.21-acre crop and livestock operation
The Brown Partnership farm, an 81.08-acre crop farm
The John and Barbara Kauffman farm, a 99.74-acre crop and livestock operation
The Robert Hawkins farm #1, a 108.65-acre crop and livestock operation
The David Stetler farm, a 123.33-acre crop farm
The Nicholas T. and Brenda Lee Rizzo farm #2, a 52.65-acre crop farm
The Shade Mt. Farms, Inc. farm, a 116.94-acre crop and livestock operation
The Rena and Bryan Baumgartner farm, a 39.96-acre crop farm
The Steven and Tammy Gower farm, a 21.43-acre crop farm
The Robert and Tracy Serfass farm, a 20.00-acre crop farm
The Fred W. and Kenneth G. Smith farm #1, an 83.70-acre crop and livestock operation
The Harold G. and Delia M. McCutcheon farm #1, a 151.51-acre crop and livestock operation
The Robert and Barbara Koch farm, a 48.07-acre crop farm
The Cord Clarence Meyer farm #1, a 120.61-acre crop and livestock operation
The Edward and Nancy Krokosky farm, a 163.76-acre pasture and livestock operation
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture