Preservation board protects additional 2,331 acres of Pa. farmland

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board today voted to preserve 2,331 additional acres on 21 farms in 17 counties through the state’s nationally recognized farmland preservation program.

Preserved farms

The newly preserved farms are located in Adams, Bedford, Berks, Bucks, Columbia, Crawford, Dauphin, Erie, Franklin, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northumberland, Perry, Washington, Wayne and Westmoreland counties.

“Since I joined the Department of Agriculture in February, we’ve preserved nearly 13,000 acres of farmland across the state,” said Agriculture Secretary George Greig.

“Pennsylvania’s farm families realize the importance of agriculture not only as our state’s number one industry – the cornerstone of our economy – but as a way of life for our farm families. I thank these producers for enabling a new generation of agriculturalists to keep Pennsylvania growing far into the future.”

Started in 1988

Pennsylvania’s farmland preservation efforts work through the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program, which was developed in 1988 to help slow the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses. It enables state, county and local governments to purchase conservation easements, also called development rights, from owners of quality farmland.

During the program’s 23-year history, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1 billion to safeguard 457,537 acres on 4,229 farms.

The following farms in western Pennsylvania preserved Dec. 15 are listed below, by county:

• Crawford: The Allen and Betty Hart farm, a 135-acre crop and livestock operation

• Erie: The Robert and Mary Ann Thomson farm #1, a 105-acre crop farm

• Washington: The John and Carol Kirschner farm, a 156-acre crop and livestock operation

• Westmoreland: The Edwin and Brenda Hurst farm #1, a 76-acre livestock farm; and the John Jamison farm #1, a 206-acre beef farm.

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