Pa. protects 2,303 acres of farmland

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Pennsylvania farmland

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board recently permanently preserved 2,303 acres on 30 farms in 16 counties for agricultural production.

Farms preserved in western Pennsylvania include:

Butler County. The Ron and Carol Kennedy farm #1, a 100-acre crop and livestock operation; the Charles and Gretchen McGowan farm #1, a 49-acre crop farm;

Indiana County. The Phyllis Streams #1 farm, a 137-acre crop farm;

Lawrence County. The Lance and Megan Nimmo farm #2, a 35-acre crop farm;

Westmoreland County. The Carbone Revocable Trust farm #1, a 94-acre crop farm; and the Wayne and Hope Frye farm #3, a 47-acre crop farm.

Statewide program

Since the commonwealth’s program began in 1988, federal, state, county, and local governments have purchased permanent easements on 5,359 farms totaling 555,006 acres in 59 counties for agricultural production.

The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program allows state, county, and local governments to purchase conservation easements from owners of quality farmland. State, county, local, funds committed at this week’s meeting, and allocated to county programs, will secure the purchase of development rights to preserve farms waiting on the county backlog lists.

In some cases, federal funding helps to preserve these lands.

In 2016, the department signed a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service that allows Pennsylvania’s program to submit farms for consideration by the federal Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. The department secured more than $1.7 million under its most recent cooperative agreement to preserve eight farms totaling 1,652 acres.

To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program, visit agriculture.pa.gov.

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