HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania is the first state to preserve more than 3,000 total farms through its farmland preservation program, according to Gov. Edward Rendell.
The Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Board preserved 6,854 acres on 69 farms in the following counties: Adams, Beaver, Berks, Butler, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Erie, Franklin, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Northumberland, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Union, Wayne and York.
National standard. “Pennsylvania is setting a national standard for farmland preservation, allowing us to keep production agriculture growing in the commonwealth,” said Rendell.
Growing Greener II, an initiative developed by Rendell that supports environmental programs, contributed $65 million to the $102 million that the Farmland Preservation Board allocated to the program this year.
Since the preservation program’s inception in 1988, Pennsylvania has secured a total of 3,048 farms and 344,465 acres in 53 of the 67 counties.
“With Gov. Rendell’s commitment to this program, we are protecting more than 3,000 farms for future generations, with the promise of securing even more acreage in the years to come. This investment allows our farmers to continue providing a safe and affordable food supply,” said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff.
Program background. The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program was developed 18 years ago to help slow the loss of prime farmland to nonagricultural uses. The program enables state, county and local governments to purchase conservation easements (also called development rights) from owners of quality farmland.
For more information on the farmland preservation program, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and click on “Producers.”
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