Additional 4,528 Acres on 40 Farms Now Protected from Development
HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board today added 4,528 acres on 40 farms to the state's nationally recognized farmland preservation program, Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding said. The action keeps those lands in agricultural use and protects them from development.
The latest farms to be preserved are located in Adams, Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Northampton, Lehigh, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montgomery, Northumberland, Perry and Susquehanna counties.
To date, the Farmland Preservation Program has preserved 441,297 acres on 4,056 farms. Both figures are the highest of any state in the nation.
"Pennsylvania is a national leader in farmland preservation because our landowners are willing to make the enduring decision to keep valuable farmland in agricultural production forever," said Redding. "In addition, the farmland preservation program could not work without support from townships, county and federal partners, who help ensure agriculture will continue to be a part of our communities and our lives for many generations."
The state's farmland preservation program works through the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program, which was developed in 1988 to help curb 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.
With this purchase of development rights, farm owners create an agreement whereby the land will forever remain in production agriculture, regardless of who may later own or work the land.
The easement purchases approved today represent a $13.5 million total investment of state, county and township funds.
Since the program's inception, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1 billion to preserve farms.
Following today's state board meeting, the state agriculture department hosted a roundtable discussion about energy production on preserved farms, including gas rights leasing and solar, wind and biomass energy production. The discussion was led by a panel of experts that included Tom Murphy, from Penn State Cooperative Extension; Charles Smith, from Epcot Crenshaw, Inc.; and Tim Wolff, of ESI Power Corporation.
Information about Pennsylvania's nation-leading farmland preservation program and a downloadable version of the 2009 Annual Farmland Preservation Report is available online at www.agriculture.state.pa.us by searching "Farmland Preservation."
Media contact: Nicole L. C. Bucher, 717-787-5085
Editor's Note: A list of farms preserved at today's Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board meeting follows:
- The T. Ann Barbour farm, a 130-acre crop farm and orchard
- The Paul and Linda Guise farm, a 158-acre crop farm
- The Ricky and Beverly Showers farm, a 29-acre crop and Christmas tree farm
- The Donald and Clara Todt farm, a 67-acre crop, turkey and beef operation
- The Horace and Evelyn Waybright farm, a 155-acre crop and dairy operation
- The David and Phoebe Bitler farm, a 163-acre crop and dairy operation
- The Lloyd, Jean and Carl Cooper farm, a 76-acre crop farm
- The Frank and Andrew Hess farm, a 43-acre crop and beef operation
- The Frederick and Carol Krott farm, a 131-acre crop and beef operation
- The Eugene and May Sensenig farm, a 79-acre crop, broiler and steer operation
- The Stefay and Joy Strunk farm, a 14-acre crop farm
- The Doris Weisner-Miller farm, a 221-acre crop farm
- The Gene and Eleanor Miller farm, a 643-acre organic dairy farm
- The Rexford Russell farm, a 126-acre grain and forage crop operation
- The Frances Heuscher farm, a 116-acre crop farm
- The Nancy Hottle farm, a 60-acre crop and steer operation
- The Robert and Elizabeth Hodge farm, a 117-acre grain, crop and fruit farm
- The Darlene Novinger and George Kissinger farm, an 84-acre crop farm
- Terry and Jane Martin, a 127-acre crop farm
- The George Arters farm, an 18-acre crop farm
- The Andrew and Andrea Bollinger farm, a 76-acre crop farm
- The John and Miriam Frey farm, a 142-acre crop and dairy operation
- The Raymond and Dorothy Good farm, a 79-acre dairy farm
- The Jay and Lucille Kopp farm, a 103-acre crop and swine finishing operation
- The Donald and Thelma Mowrer farm, a 105-acre crop farm
- The Earl and Sadie Sensenig farm, a 150-acre crop and hog operation
- The Leon and Lucy Sensenig farm, a 47-acre dairy farm
- The Lester Weidman farm, a 61-acre crop farm
- The Benuel and Rebecca Zook farm, a 76-acre crop and livestock operation
- The Seem Seed #1 farm, a 221-acre crop farm
- The Seem Seed #2 farm, a 66-acre crop farm
- The James, Darren and Dale Hill farm, a 143-acre crop farm
- The Vernon and Nancy Yoder farm, a 51-acre crop and dairy operation
- The Elizabeth Glatfelter farm, a 64-acre feed crop operation
- The Robert and Melanie Kroboth farm, a 57-acre crop farm
- The Albert and Marion Palmer farm, a 35-acre crop farm
- The Nelson and Mary Remel farm, an 81-acre crop and beef operation
- The Ileen Ranck farm, an 86-acre crop farm
- The Lorena Rice farm, a 181-acre crop farm
- The Johnathan and Charlene Bunnell farm, a 148-acre dairy farm
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture