Thursday, October 8, 2020

Pennsylvania Permanently Protects 2,224 Acres Of Farmland On 25 Farms

On October 8, the Department of Agriculture announced Pennsylvania safeguarded 2,224 acres on 25 farms in 17 counties, investing $5,655,426 through the state’s nation-leading Farmland Preservation Program. 

Preserved farms are protected from future residential, commercial or industrial development. They represent targeted investments in the future of farming and food security in Pennsylvania.

“Pennsylvania farmers have faced tremendous pressure to sell their land for more lucrative ventures,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “These farmers have not only resisted that pressure and beat odds that were stacked against them to keep food on our tables, they have guaranteed that their farms will continue to be there to feed us in the future. This investment supports their generosity and dedication to a food-secure future for all of us.”

The 25 farms preserved today are in Adams, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Chester, Dauphin, Cumberland, Fayette, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Perry, Potter, Union and York counties.

These farms include crop, livestock, nursery, equine, dairy and poultry operations.

Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county, and local governments have purchased permanent easements on 5,781 Pennsylvania farms totaling 589,109 acres.

Notable farms include the 200.27-acre Robert D. and Carol J. Stahl farm in Perry County that was donated to the program. 

Perry County leads the state in the number of donated farms and the Stahl farm is the second largest acreage donation to date in the county. The crop farm is part of a large contiguous block of preserved farmland in Northeast Madison and Southwest Madison townships.

The Burchetts of Chanceford Township in York County, have preserved four of their farms including Maple Spring Farms Partnership Farm #2, a 128.2-acre crop farm. Previous owners, Robert and Judy Burchett, recently transferred ownership of the farm to their son Thomas and his wife Stacy, who are the fourth generation of their family to farm.

A newly preserved former dairy farm in the Morrisons Cove region of Blair County is now a crop operation that supports a local dairy farm by providing crops for cattle. The 170.29-acre operation is owned by Linda Longenecker. Morrisons Cove has some of the best farmland soils in the state. Including the Longenecker farm, there are now 56 farms and 8,391 acres preserved in Blair county.

Click Here for a list of farms protected.

For more information on this program, visit Agriculture’s Farmland Preservation webpage.

Related Article:

Berks Nature Closes On A Conservation Easement For 100+ Acre Olivet Blue Mountain Camp

[Posted: October 8, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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