News for Immediate Release
Aug. 23, 2012
Pennsylvania Preserves 2,358 Additional Acres of Farmland
More than 4,300 Farms Now Preserved Statewide
Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board today protected an additional 2,358 acres on 27 farms from development through the state’s nationally recognized farmland preservation program.
The board preserved farms in Allegheny, Berks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montgomery and Tioga counties.
Since the program began in 1988, state, county and local governments have invested nearly $1.2 billion to safeguard 465,953 acres on 4,320 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.
“Agriculture generates $5.7 billion in annual cash receipts, translating into an estimated $57 billion in total statewide economic impact,” said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. “Preserving farmland is a key component of helping Pennsylvania agriculture remain strong. By enrolling in the program, our producers are ensuring future generations can continue to farm.”
The state’s farmland preservation efforts work through the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program to help slow the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses. The program enables state, county and local governments to purchase conservation easements, also called development rights, from owners of quality farmland. In some cases, the federal Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program provides additional assistance.
After the meeting, state board review appraiser Brian Pedrick led a roundtable discussion about farm value trends influenced by the economy and shale exploration. He also answered questions about appraisal reports.
For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search “farmland preservation.”
Media contact: Will Nichols, 717-787-5085
Editor’s Note: A list of farms preserved at today’s meeting follows.
The Genovese Living Trust, an 87.33-acre crop farm
The Darren and Loren Elder farm, a 139.02-acre crop and livestock operation
The Jeffrey Bittner farm, a 63.82-acre crop farm
The Elizabeth and Marvin Shaffer farm #1, a 74.24-acre crop farm
The Warren Fenstermacher farm, a 156.09-acre crop farm
The Barbara, John and Michael McNeill farm #1, a 118.53-acre crop and livestock operation