HARRISBURG, Pa. —The Agricultural Land Preservation Board announces Pennsylvania is adding 2,014 additional acres on 26 farms in 14 counties to the state’s nation-leading farmland preservation program.
The board preserved farms in Berks, Blair, Bucks, Cambria, Chester, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Lycoming, Northampton, Perry, Washington, Westmoreland and York counties.
Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1.2 billion to preserve 491,423 acres on 4,612 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.
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.
Western Pa. farms preserved include:
Washington County; The David A. and Barbara J. Carlisle farm #2; a a 104.21-acre crop farm in Westmoreland, Pa.
Washington County; The Heinnickel Farms Inc. farm #2, a 192.41-acre crop and livestock operation.