HARRISBURG, Ohio — Pennsylvania’s nation-leading farmland preservation program recently expanded to safeguard an additional 1,722 acres on 18 farms.
The latest farms approved by the Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board are located in Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Montgomery, Perry and York counties.
The western Pennsylvania farms preserved at the meeting are the Robert and Mika Long farm, a 68-acre crop farm; the John Ripple and Linda Pipp farm, a 132-acre cow/calf beef and row crop operation; and the William and Susan Sray farm, a 56-acre beef and crop operation, all in Allegheny County.
In total, Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program has preserved 433,776 acres on 3,982 farms. Both figures are the highest of any state in the nation.
How it works
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 $6.7 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.
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