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Pennsylvania Adds 18 Farms, Nearly 1,500 Acres To Preservation Program

Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board Thursday safeguarded 1,495 additional acres on 18 farms in 10 counties through the state’s nation-leading farmland preservation program.

Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county and local governments have invested nearly $1.3 billion to preserve 504,252 acres on 4,750 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.

“It’s an honor to again chair the meetings of the board of our nation-leading farmland preservation program,” said acting Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “The program’s success comes through the work of staff at all levels of government, support from a public who values farmland, and from the farmers themselves who offer their land for preservation. I look forward to the program’s future success.”

The board approved a $30 million state funding threshold for 2015 easement purchases. Counties across Pennsylvania have certified $14.7 million for farmland preservation in 2015.

The board preserved farms in ten counties: Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Susquehanna, Union and York.

The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program identifies properties and slows the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses. It 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 $541,000 in federal reimbursements.

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


2/16/2015

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