Farm Families Partner With Dept. Of Agriculture To Protect 26 More Farms, 2,370 Acres From Future Development
On April 15, the Department of Agriculture announced 2,370 acres on 26 farms in 16 counties through the state’s nation-leading Farmland Preservation Program.
Since 1988, the program has purchased permanent conservation easements on 5,869 Pennsylvania farms, covering 596,827 acres, in 59 counties, ensuring they will remain farms in the future.
“Farmland is essential for food production. As the population grows, farmers must produce more food. Yet, each year, fertile farm acres are lost to development. Once farmland goes out of production, it rarely comes back,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “That’s why preserving farmland is so important. Farmland preservation is an investment in the future, promising tomorrow’s generations a resilient agriculture industry with ample ground to grow food.”
By selling their land’s development value, landowners preserve their farms, protecting the land from future residential, commercial or industrial development. The commonwealth partners with counties to purchase the development value, ensuring a strong future for farming and food security in Pennsylvania.
The 26 farms preserved today are in Adams, Berks, Bradford, Carbon, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lehigh, Lycoming, Mifflin, Northampton, Westmoreland, and York counties.
These farms include crop and livestock operations. Notable farms preserved include:
The Lobaugh Farm, a 27.49-acre crop farm, which supports the larger “Ber-Crk Farms” dairy operation. This small but productive Adams County tract provides valuable hay and corn for feed. The property is located in the strong farming community of Huntingdon Township, with over 2,000 acres preserved.
The Ambrose Farm, a 135.15-acre bicentennial crop farm located in Westmoreland County, is the first farm preserved through the state program in Cooke Township. Several neighboring farms were preserved by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to land conservation.
The Feusner Farm, a 343.99-acre beef operation located in Bradford County. The farm borders a picturesque lake used for recreation and has significant road frontage, making it a target for residential development pressures. The family is committed to conservation and wants to see the farm protected for future generations.
For more information on this program, visit Agriculture’s Farmland Preservation Program webpage.
[Posted: April 15, 2021]
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