PENNSYLVANIA — Pennsylvania has taken an enormous initiative to preserve its agricultural lands for future generations. The Shapiro Administration recently announced that it has invested nearly $5 million in the protection of 2,038 acres on 22 farms in 13 different counties.
This new initiative aims to maintain a balance between economic development and conservation. Agriculture Secretary, Russell Redding, emphasized the importance of preserving fertile, healthy farmland and clean water for the state’s economy and future. This bold move not only secures the prosperity of Pennsylvania’s farms but also ensures the supply of food, green spaces, income, and jobs for future generations. The Shapiro Administration’s efforts to sustain and nourish Pennsylvania’s economy for the betterment of its citizens are truly commendable.
Since 1988, Pennsylvania has protected 6,202 farms and 624,277 acres in 58 counties from future development, investing more than $1.6 billion in state, county, and local funds. Pennsylvania continues to lead the nation in preserved farmland.
Pennsylvania partners with county and sometimes local governments and non-profits to purchase development rights, ensuring a strong future for farming and food security. By selling their land’s development rights, farm owners ensure that their farms will remain farms and never be sold to developers.
The newly preserved farms are in Berks, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Crawford, Cumberland, Lackawanna, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Mercer, Union, and York counties.
Farms preserved and dollars invested, by county:
Berks County – Total investment – $897,598, $856,439 state, $41,159 county
- Boyd Revocable Living Trust, William T. and Karen A. Boyd, trustees, Longswamp Township, a 67-acre crop farm
- Cedar Creek Dairy, LLC, Upper Tulpehocken Township, a 43-acre crop farm
- The Henry L. and Madeline M. Seidel Farm, Greenwich Township, a 122-acre crop farm
- The Barry A. Smith Farm, Greenwich Township, a 95-acre crop and livestock farm
Blair County– Total investment – $128,578 state only
- The Linda M. Longenecker Farm, Huston Township, a 76-acre crop farm
Cambria County– Total investment – $239,876, $229,876 state, $10,000 county
- The Floyd M. and Marian D. Farabaugh Farm #3, Cambria Township, a 175-acre crop farm
Centre County – Total investment – $1,003.224, $840,674 state, $150,000 county, $12,550 township
- The Cynthia A. Barker Farm, Potter Township, a 79-acre crop farm
- The Larry F., Suzanne M., and Dawn L. Harpster Farm, Ferguson Township, a 108-acre crop and livestock farm
- Strickler Living Trust, Walker Township, a 78-acre crop farm
Crawford County– Total investment – $100,931, $99,931 state, $1,000 county
- The Levi A. and Susan M. Byler Farm, East Fallowfield Township, an 89-acre crop farm
Cumberland County – Total investment – $1,090,994 state only
- The Gary E. and Christine K. Biddle Farm #2, Silver Spring Township, a 147-acre crop farm
- The Neil C. and Heather J. Darhower Farm, Lower Frankford Township, a 150-acre beef farm
- The Morgan E. Constance Farm, Southampton Township, a 53-acre crop farm
Lackawanna County – Total investment – $144,557, state only
- The Darren W. and Lisa D. Maria Farm #2, Benton Township, a 61-acre crop farm
Lebanon County – Total investment – $246,696, $153,176 state, $93,520 county
- The Richard L. Jr. and Michelle L. Ober Farm, South Londonderry Township, a 97-acre crop and livestock farm
Lehigh County – Total investment – $211,219, $10,519 state, $200,700 county
- The Elizabeth LaFrenz farm, Lower Milford Township, a 33-acre horse farm
Luzerne County – Total investment – $191,498 state only
- The Matthew S. Balliet Farm, Butler Township, a 54-acre crop and livestock farm
Mercer County– Total investment – $155,880, $110,680 state, $45,200 county
- The Robert L. and Nancy E. Witt Farm, New Vernon Township, a 150-acre crop farm
Union County – Total investment – $328,322, $328,320 state, $2 county
- The Margaret I. Harris Farm #2, Limestone and West Buffalo Townships, a 99-acre sheep farm
- The Sandra S. Sanders Family Protection Trust, Matthew J. and Jeffrey A. Sanders, trustees, Union Township, a 115-acre crop farm
- The Danielle D.J. Stewart and David Knox Farm, White Deer Township, a 46-acre crop farm
York County – Total investment – $252,185, $4,852 state, $247,333 county
- The David J. Schmidt Farm #1, Hopewell Township, a 102-acre crop farm
These investments will multiply public dollars invested in conservation initiatives, including the recently launched $154 million Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program, supporting farmers’ efforts to reduce water pollution and improve soil quality. Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program secured a $7.85 million federal grant from USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program to support climate-smart conservation on preserved Pennsylvania farms, an investment that will not only improve conservation efforts, but help measure their impact.
To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program and investments in a secure, sustainable future for Pennsylvania agriculture, visit agriculture.pa.gov.
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