Chester County Farm Receives $240,422 to Preserve Land

farmImage via Pixabay

HARRISBURG, PA — On Thursday, the Elam F. and Lydia Z. Beiler Farm, a 56.6-acre crop, horse and beef farm located in West Sadsbury Township, Chester County received $13,623 from the state, and $226,799 from the county, to protect the farm from future development. The Chester County farm is part of a total of 784 acres on 18 farms in nine counties that were recently shielded. The Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Program invested more than $3.166 million in state, county and local dollars to ensure that prime farmland is not lost. Pennsylvania has now protected 6,094 farms and 614,668 acres in 58 counties from future commercial, industrial or residential development.

The 18 newly preserved farms are in Berks, Centre, Chester, Erie, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

“Preserving farmland is an investment in our economy, our environment, our quality of life, and our future food security,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “We’re proud of that investment and we owe these farm families a debt of gratitude for making a decision that guards their family legacies and benefits all of Pennsylvania.”

By selling their land’s development rights, landowners ensure that their farm will remain a farm and never be sold for residential, commercial or industrial development. 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 others’ family farms.

Pennsylvania partners with county and sometimes local governments and non-profits to purchase development rights, ensuring a strong future for farming and food security and leading the nation in the number of preserved farms. Since 1988, Pennsylvania has invested more than $1.6 billion to protect open, green spaces and food production for the future.

Farms preserved and dollars invested, by county: 

Berks County  Total investment $157,936 state, $24,150 county

  • The Sharon P. Cameron Farm, Centre Township, a 31-acre crop farm
  • The David L. and Linda J. Nirschl Farm, Penn Township, a 34-acre crop and livestock farm

Centre County – Total investment $96,783 state, $1 county, $1 township

  • The David G. Burket Living Trust Farm, Ferguson Township, a 22-acre crop farm

Chester County – Total investment $13,623 state, $226,799 county

  • The Elam F. and Lydia Z. Beiler Farm, West Sadsbury Township, a 56.6-acre crop, horse and beef farm

Erie County   Total investment $183,543 state only

  • The Joseph J. Adameck Farm #1, Greenfield Township, a 56-acre crop farm
  • The Alan L. and Sandra J. Rose Farm #1, Amity Township, a 51-acre crop and livestock farm

Lebanon County – Total investment $710 state (owner donated land)

  • The Sue Ellen and John T. Bowman Farm, North Lebanon Township, a 1-acre crop farm

Lehigh County – Total investment $337,396 state, $556,536 county, $ 212,500 township

  • The Susan M. and Edwin C. Gardner, Jr., North Whitehall Township, Farm, a 17-acre horse farm
  • The Robert A. Schmidt Farm, North Whitehall Township, a 50-acre crop farm
  • The Kevin L. Smith Farm #4, Washington Township, a 12-acre crop farm
  • The Marshall M. Mangold Farm, Lowhill Township, a 94-acre crop farm

Northampton County – Total investment $267,879 state, $160,882 county, $239,102 township

  • The Richard B. and Lois P. Kerbacher Farm, Moore Township, a 57-acre crop farm
  • The Kyle J. Kerr Farm, Washington Township, an 11-acre beef farm
  • The Carol Nagy Smith and Stewart C. Smith Jr. Farm, a 20-acre crop farm
  • The Dianne L., Marshall A., Hope D. and Donald W. Woolverton Sr.; and Jayann M. and Jeffrey W. Kerr Farm, Washington Township, a 52-acre crop and livestock farm

Washington County – Total investment $301,144 state only

  • The Jane M. Deemer Farm, South Strabane Township, a 97-acre crop and livestock farm

Westmoreland County – Total investment $387,197 state only

  • The Troy D. and Karrie A. Dolan and John S. Yuris Farm #2, Derry Township, a 43-acre crop farm
  • The Wayne C. and Hope L. Frye Farm #5, Unity Township, a 63-acre crop farm

Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program recently secured a $7.85 million grant from the USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program to support climate-smart conservation on preserved Pennsylvania farms.

To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program and investments in a secure future for Pennsylvania agriculture, visit agriculture.pa.gov.

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