Harrisburg, PA – The Shapiro Administration announced today that Pennsylvania protected 2,038 acres on 22 farms in 13 counties from future residential or commercial development. The investment of nearly $5 million in state, county, and local dollars preserves prime farmland for the future, helping Pennsylvania farms continue feeding our families and our economy. The investment illustrates Governor Josh Shapiro's continued commitment to Pennsylvania's rural economy and conserving our farmland, soil and water resources to feed future prosperity.
Governor Shapiro demonstrated his commitment to conservation in his 2023-24 budget proposal, continuing to support the conservation tax credits, loans, grants, incentives and initiatives in the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, and proposing a new $2.5 million investment to help guarantee the integrity of state and local investments in preserving prime farmland.
"Fertile, healthy farmland and clean water are critical to our economy and our future," Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. "The families who preserve their farms 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 6,202 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 today 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.
MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers, firstname.lastname@example.org, 717.603.2056
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