Commonwealth preserves 4,000th farm

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board reached a major milestone by preserving the state’s 4,000th farm.

“Pennsylvania’s farmland preservation program leads the nation,” said state Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding. “I applaud the farmers who have made the enormous commitment to protect their farm in perpetuity — meaning it will always remain available for agricultural production. Today we celebrate, with gratitude, their enduring decision.”

The achievement was marked at the Charles Zimmerman Farm, a dairy operation in Myerstown, Lebanon County, which was preserved in this latest round.

The family’s first farm was preserved in 2004. Together, the two farms account for 148 acres of preserved farmland with the help of federal, state and county partners.

The Zimmerman farm was one of three farms preserved in Lebanon County today, bringing the county’s total of preserved acres to 15,000.

The remaining 31 farms were preserved by the board in Adams, Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Columbia, Fayette, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lehigh, Montgomery, Pike and Wayne counties.

In western Pa

The western Pa. farms preserved include: Beaver: The Timothy Brosenitsch farm, an 80-acre crop farm; Fayette: The Charles E. Metros farm, a 95-acre crop and livestock operation; Lawrence: The Edward D. Clark farm, a 163-acre crop and cattle operation.

Leads nation

In total, Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program has preserved 436,769 acres on 4,016 farms. Both figures are the highest of any state in the nation.

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.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Hello,

    We were talking to some one at the Beaver office about this program. It all sounds good, however, what are the downsides of this program. We have a small farm, and we were told we could qualify. Thank you for any information given. Barb Jones

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