Pa. adds 18 farms, 1,493 acres to preservation program

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board recently protected 1,493 additional acres on 18 farms in 12 counties from development through the state’s nationally renowned farmland preservation program.

The board preserved farms in Bucks, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Greene, Lancaster, Monroe, Northampton, Northumberland and Pike counties.

Western Pa. farm

In western Pennsylvania, the farm of Harley and Janet Gapen farm #1, a 112.07-acre crop farm in Greene County, was preserved.

Since the program began in 1988, state, county and local governments have invested nearly $1.2 billion to preserve 473,094 acres on 4,403 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program identifies properties and slows the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses.

What it does

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 in federal reimbursements, the largest amount ever.

For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search “Farmland Preservation.”

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