HARRISBURG, Pa. — Farmland in 18 Pennsylvania counties will remain in agricultural production, thanks to the state’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board.
The board took action Feb. 18 to safeguard 2,412 additional acres on 27 farms through the state’s farmland preservation program. The board preserved farms in 18 counties: Adams, Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Chester, Clinton, Columbia, Erie, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Monroe, Northampton and York.
Farms preserved in western Pennsylvania include:
- Allegheny: The Frank White farm #4, a 91.67-acre livestock operation;
- Beaver: The Timothy and Robin Haffey farm #1, a 78.57-acre crop farm;
- Erie: The George A. and Linda P. May farm #1, a 112.66-acre crop farm; the Thomas G. and Wendy L. Wilkinson farm #1, a 34.6-acre crop farm;
- Mercer: The Paul Lawrence farm, a 189.98-acre crop and livestock operation.
The board also approved a $31 million state funding threshold for 2016 easement purchases. Counties across Pennsylvania have certified $14.1 million for farmland preservation in 2016. Additional land will be preserved through nonprofits and bargain sales, where owners of farmland agree to receive less than fair market value for the lands’ development rights.
About the program
The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program enables state, county and local governments to purchase conservation easements, also called development rights, from owners of quality farmland. Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1.3 billion to preserve 518,827 acres on 4,919 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.
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