PENNSYLVANIA — On Thursday, Pennsylvania protected 2,478 acres on 30 farms in 18 counties from future residential, or commercial development, investing more than $8.9 million in state, county, local and nonprofit dollars in protecting prime farmland for the future. Pennsylvania ends 2022 continuing to lead the nation, having protected 170 farms and 13,069 acres this year.
Governor Wolf increased funding for preserving farms by $5 million in his 2016-17 budget, and since January 2015, the Wolf Administration has invested $273,065,874 in preserving 116,527 acres on 1,416 farms across the state. Since 1988, Pennsylvania has protected 6,148 farms and 619,191 acres in 58 counties from future development, investing more than $1.6 billion in our agriculture industry’s ability to feed our families and our economy.
“Protecting prime farmland from development is one of the most important investments we make in our economy, our environment, and our quality of life,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “These farm families, together with every level of government, are investing in guarding their legacies and ensuring that other Pennsylvania families will have food, green spaces, income and jobs in the future.”
The newly preserved farms are in Adams, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Cambria, Chester, Cumberland, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Tioga, Union, Westmoreland, 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 non-profits to purchase development rights, ensuring a strong future for farming and food security.
Among farms preserved at Thursday’s State Agricultural Land Preservation Board meeting:
Four farms, including three Adams County standardbred horse farms and Brookhart Farms in Perry County, are federally funded, which will leverage additional funds for future easement purchases.
Sutliff Farms in Northampton County is the second farm preserved by the family and creates a cluster of nine protected farms in the county, which faces pressure from developers because of its prime location close to major markets and transportation.
Farms preserved Thursday and dollars invested, by county:
Adams County– Total investment – $1,466,393, state only
- Hanover Shoe Farms, Inc. #33, Union Township, a 149-acre horse farm
- Hanover Shoe Farms, Inc. #27, Conewago Township,162-acre horse farm
- Hanover Shoe Farms, Inc. #31, Union Township, 185-acre horse farm
Beaver County – Total investment – $438,276, state only
- The William J. Douthitt Farm #1, Darlington Township, a 174-acre crop and livestock farm
Berks County – Total investment – $465,060, state – $444,017, county -$21,043
- The Robert C. Berger Farm, Upper Bern Township, a 26-acre crop & livestock farm
- The Shirley K. and Paul B. Levan, Jr. Farm, Tilden Township, a 59-acre crop and livestock farm
- The Mark A. and Tracey L. Snyder Farm, Penn Township, a 35-acre crop farm
- The Jeffrey A. and Kathleen A. Updegrove and Oley Township Farm, a 40-acre crop farm
Blair County – Total investment – $204,085, state – $149,085, county -$55,000
- The Leonard R. Burket Estate, Huston Township, a 129-acre crop and livestock farm
Bucks County – Total investment – $1,498,140, state – $1,234,175, county -$51,945, township – $212,020
- The Matthew P. Goldenberg and Kelly Burland Farm, Bedminster Township, a 106-acre crop and livestock farm
Butler County – Total investment – $289,524, state – $284,320, county – $192, township – $5,012
- The Andrew A. and John M. Allen III Farm, Clinton Township, a 71-acre crop and livestock farm
Cambria County – Total investment – $101,174, state – $91,174, county – $10,000
- The Stephen G. Krug and Barbara Gooderham Krug Farm #1, Allegheny Township, a 105-acre crop farm
Chester County – Total investment – $197,008, state – $12,029, county – $184,980
- The Daniel B. and Rachel B. King Farm, Lower Oxford Township, a 50-acre crop and livestock farm
Cumberland County – Total investment – $274,613, state – $4,063, county – $69,991, township – $200,559
- The Thomas D. Moyer Farm #2, Silver Spring Township, a 70-acre crop farm
Lancaster County – Total investment – $568,292, state only
- Hope Valley Farms, LLC, East Drumore Township, a 77-acre crop farm
- The Ben F. and Annie K. Zook Farm, Rapho Township, a 97-acre crop and livestock farm
Lawrence County – Total investment – $90,922, state – $75,004, county – $15,918
- The Whiting Family Limited Partnership #2 Farm, Pulaski Township, a 64-acre livestock farm
Lehigh County – Total investment – $572,961, state – $412,024, county – $160,937
- The Patricia A. Husted Farm, Upper Saucon Township, a 31-acre horse farm
- The Gregory Geiger and John Stewart Farm, Weisenberg Township, a 53-acre crop farm
- The Kevin L. Smith #6 Farm, Heidelberg Township, a 24-acre crop farm
Montgomery County – Total investment – $934,674, state – $18,854, county – $793,484, township – $122,336
- The Donald F. Hemsley Farm, Lower Salford Township, a 30-acre crop farm
- The John A. and Barbara J. Tim Farm #1, New Hanover Township, a 30-acre crop farm
Northampton County – Total investment – $201,879, state only
- Sutliff Farms #2, East Allen Township, a 33-acre crop and livestock farm
Perry County – Total investment – $166,908, state – $84,704, county – $82,204
- The Daryl I. and Wanda A. Brookhart Farm, Liverpool Township, a 160-acre crop and livestock farm
Tioga County – Total investment – $152,420, state – $74,393, county – $78,027
- The Barry and Jane Brucklacher Farm, Charleston Township, a 103-acre crop farm
Union County – Total investment – $189,985, state only
- The Luke W. and Ada Mae Hoover Farm #1, Buffalo Township, a 60-acre crop and livestock farm
Westmoreland County – Total investment – $222,311, state – $115,955, county – $106,355
- The Christopher and Stephanie M. Rerko Farm #1, Rostraver Township, a 42-acre crop and livestock farm
York County – Total investment – $905,202, state only
- The Timothy Jordan #1 Farm, Chanceford Township, a 50-acre crop farm
- The Dennis Myers #1 Farm, Codorus Township, a 91-acre crop farm
- The George O. Phillips Jr. & Kimberly A. Swam #1 Farm, Shrewsbury Township, a 172 acre crop & livestock 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.
The dollars will further multiply Wolf Administration investments in conservation in the 2022-’23 budget, which devotes $220 million to the new Clean Streams Fund. The fund includes $154 million to establish a new Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program supporting farmers’ efforts to reduce water pollution and improve soil quality, and $22 million to increase funding for the existing Nutrient Management Fund, which supports technical assistance to farms to reduce run-off.
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