Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board, on Dec. 12, safeguarded 4,181 additional acres on 41 farms in 21 counties through the state’s nationally renowned farmland preservation program.
The board preserved farms in Adams, Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Chester, Cumberland, Greene, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Mifflin, Monroe, Northampton, Snyder, Somerset, Union, Westmoreland and York counties.
Since the program began in 1988, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1.2 billion to preserve 484,270 acres on 4,532 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.
“With this meeting, we conclude a successful 25th year for the program by surpassing the 4,500 farm milestone,” said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. “Preserving Pennsylvania’s farmland requires passionate farmers and dedicated program administrators who work together to keep Pennsylvania growing for generations to come.”
The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program identifies properties and slows 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. Last fiscal year, Pennsylvania received $4.2 million in federal reimbursements.
Visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us for the list of farms.