Friday, February 24, 2023

Pennsylvania Protects 32 Farms, 3,047 Acres In 21 Counties From Future Development

On February 24, the Department of Agriculture announced Pennsylvania protected
3,047 acres on 32 farms in 21 counties from future residential or commercial development. 

The investment of more than $10 million in state, county, and local dollars preserves prime farmland for the future, helping Pennsylvania farms continue to feed our families and our economy. 

Today’s announcement builds on Governor Shapiro's continued commitment to the Commonwealth’s agriculture industry and our rural communities.

“Protecting prime farmland from development is a critical investment in our economy, our environment, and our quality of life,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “These farm families are forging a partnership with government, investing together in ensuring that future Pennsylvania families will have food, green spaces, income, and jobs. Government working to sustain our economy and feed our quality of life is a central goal of the Shapiro Administration.”  

Since 1988, Pennsylvania has protected 6,180 farms and 622,238 acres in 58 counties from future development, investing more than $1.6 billion. Pennsylvania leads the nation in preserved farmland.

The newly preserved farms are in Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Chester, Cumberland, Erie, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montour, Northampton, Somerset, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, and York counties.

By selling their land’s development rights, landowners ensure that their farms will remain farms and never be sold to developers. 

Farm families often sell their land at below market value, donate additional land, or agree to conservation practices on their farms in order to leverage additional federal and state money to preserve more family farms.

Pennsylvania partners with county and sometimes local governments and nonprofits to purchase development rights, ensuring a strong future for farming and food security.

Highlights among farms preserved at today’s State Agricultural Land Preservation Board meeting include:

-- The purchase of development rights for Paul and Barbara Weber’s beef and crop farm in Upper Mifflin Township, Cumberland County was funded by federal funds leveraged by previously preserved farms in the county.

--The Eisenhower and Sweitzer families’ York County crop farms support their large beef operation. Preserving these new tracts will build on four prior easement purchases, creating a 1,348-acre contiguous block of preserved farmland. These families have been leaders in preservation in York County and have been instrumental in pushing to strengthen local zoning ordinances to support agriculture. 

-- David and Julie Hess follow a detailed conservation plan and comprehensive nutrient management plan on their 239-acre, 100-cow dairy operation in Jackson Township in Tioga County. The practices they are following -- including crop rotation, no-till, and cover crops – improve farm production and protect natural resources.

Click Here for a list of all farms preserved.

Visit Agriculture’s Farmland Preservation webpage for more information.

Related Article:

-- Dept. Of Agriculture Adds Butler, Clearfield, Clinton, Fayette, Lawrence, Somerset Counties To Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Area

[Posted: February 24, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner