High-quality farmland in 18 Pennsylvania counties will remain in agricultural production thanks to the state’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board. During Thursday’s meeting, the board took action to safeguard 2,652 additional acres on 33 farms through the state’s nation-leading farmland preservation program.
Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1.3 billion to preserve 516,417 acres on 4,892 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.
“Agriculture has been part of the fabric of this land since the days of Penn’s Woods, and the actions of the board today helped ensure that it will remain the cornerstone of our economy for generations to come,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “This investment in the finite, precious resource of farmland shows Pennsylvania’s commitment to a locally-grown food source that is instrumental in feeding a growing population.”
The board preserved farms in 18 counties: Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Butler, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Erie, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, Somerset, Tioga, Westmoreland and York.
The PA Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program identifies properties and slows the loss of prime farmland to nonagricultural uses. It enables state, county and local governments to purchase conservation easements, also called development rights, from owners of quality farmland.For more information, visit Agriculture’s Farmland Preservation webpage.