Pa. invests $5.1M to preserve 30 farms

Pennsylvania farmland

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania recently safeguarded 2,305 acres on 30 farms in 19 counties, investing more than $5.1 million in the future of agriculture through the state’s nation-leading Farmland Preservation Program. 

The program preserves farms to protect them from future residential, commercial or industrial development. They represent targeted investments in the future of farming and food security in Pennsylvania. 

The 30 farms preserved are in Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Butler, Centre, Chester, Dauphin, Cumberland, Erie, Franklin, Huntingdon, Indiana, Lancaster, Lehigh, Lycoming, Montgomery, Northampton, Washington and Westmoreland counties. These farms include crop, livestock, Christmas tree and poultry operations. 

Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county and local governments have purchased permanent easements on 5,899 Pennsylvania farms totaling 599,132 acres. 

These recent purchases include:

The Carol Ann Bucar farm, a 149.53-acre beef, hay and apiary operation, in Forward Township, Allegheny County. Bucar is an advocate for farmland preservation in her community and plans to transfer the farm to her son, who wants to farm. 

The Richard C. and Kathleen Dietrich farm, an 88.60-acre crop farm, in Greenwich Township, Berks County. With 75,964 acres permanently protected in the county, Berks is a preservation leader. 

In addition to the Dietrich farm, four other Berks County farms were approved for easement purchase earlier today. The Dietrich farm is within two miles of 24 preserved farms, creating a large block of preserved farmland that will always be available for future generations. 

The Kevin and Kelly Caldwell Farm #2, a 50.06-acre crop farm, in Daugherty Township, Beaver County. The farm’s location, just north of Pittsburgh International Airport, makes it attractive for non-agricultural development. The Caldwells also operate another preserved farm in the area that has been in the family for over 100 years. 

Brian and Heidi Geverd farm, also known as Goshenhoppen Farm, a 32.83-acre crop and vegetable operation, in Upper Frederick Township, Montgomery County. The Geverd’s grow hot peppers and are known for their award-winning hot sauce, a PA Preferred product.


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