Harrisburg, PA – On behalf of Governor Tom Wolf, state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced that Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board yesterday safeguarded 2,609 more acres on 40 farms in 17 counties for agricultural production now and in the future.
“Yesterday we preserved dairy, beef, crop, and other farms – all examples of the diversity of production in our agriculture industry,” said Redding. “No matter the differences in production styles or backgrounds or regions of our commonwealth, those farmers share a commitment to their communities, their families, and our food supply. In turn, we make this covenant with them, ensuring that their prime land will always supply food for Pennsylvanians and a growing world.”
The 41 farms preserved today are found in Adams, Allegheny, Blair, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Perry, Schuylkill, Tioga, Union, and Westmoreland counties. Since the commonwealth’s program began in 1988, federal, state, county, and local governments have purchased permanent easements on 5,399 farms totaling 557,613 acres in 59 counties.
Under Governor Wolf, funding for farmland preservation has increased more than 45 percent, or $12.5 million, which means $40 million is available for the program this fiscal year, Redding added. Since taking office, the Wolf administration has preserved 668 farms totaling 54,951 acres of prime farmland across Pennsylvania.
In some cases, federal funding helps to preserve these lands. In 2016, the department signed a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service that allows Pennsylvania’s program to submit farms for consideration by the federal Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. The department secured more than $2 million under its most recent cooperative agreement to preserve eight farms totaling 1,097 acres.
The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program, as it is formally known, is dedicated to slowing the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses. Funding allows state, county, and local governments to purchase conservation easements, from owners of quality farmland. State, county, local, and federal funds committed at today’s meeting, and allocated to county programs, will secure the purchase of development rights to preserve farms waiting on the county backlog lists.
The Arentz Family LP 2018 farm, a 100.38-acre crop farm
The Paul Ribarchak farm, a 43.82-acre crop and livestock operation
The Mark Williams farm, a 54.64-acre crop and livestock operation
The Gary L. and Claudia L. Bechtel farm, a 136.7-acre crop and livestock operation
The James Simkins farm, a 35.99-acre crop farm
The Charles W. and Carol A. Getz farm, a 58.18-acre crop farm
The Keith Rex farm, a 107.6-acre crop farm
The Arthur A. and Beth A. Astle farm #1, a 124.74-acre crop farm
The Marc S. Balick farm, a 38.24-acre crop farm
The Josephine P. Boxler farm, a 50.04-acre crop farm
The Sherry Buchanan farm, a 20.61-acre crop farm
The Gary C. Elston farm, a 37.53-acre crop farm
The James Willard Hamilton II farm, a 11.18-acre crop farm
The Elam L. and Elizabeth F. King farm, a 66.37-acre crop and livestock operation
The Christina Martin farm, a 68.23-acre crop farm
The Franklin W. and Curtis W. Neal farm, a 73-acre beef operation
The Holly Reyburn farm #1, a 162-acre crop farm
The Robert H. and Susan M. Schulz farm, a 25.26-acre crop farm
The Christian S. and Katie K. Stoltzfus farm, a 53.18-acre dairy operation
The Westlake Land Company LP, a 119.09-acre crop farm
The John F. (III) and Diane B. Stamy farm, a 35.99-acre crop farm
The Donald and Ruth Danner farm #1, a 66.79-acre crop farm
The David Faust farm #1, a 32.01-acre crop farm
The David L. Warfel farm #1, a 72.43-acre crop farm
The Jonas S., Sadie, and Melvin S. Allgyer farm, a 45.85-acre dairy operation
The Eli B. and Malinda S. Fisher farm, a 74.81-acre crop and livestock operation
The G. David Ginder farm #2, a 162.6-acre crop farm
The Lawrence B. and Susanna R. Leid farm, a 45.9-acre crop farm
The Jeffrey A. and David L. Balmer farm, a 103.04-acre crop farm
The Pamela D. Krause farm #1, a 12.44-acre crop farm
The Angelica Megaro farm, a 38.66-acre crop and livestock operation
The Tracy A. Smith farm, a 15.9-acre equine operation
The Glenn A. and Donna L. Wagner farm, a 63.95-acre crop farm
The Francis E. and Ann Duhovis farm #1, a 43.34-acre crop and livestock operation
The Dane F. and Holly A. Rumberger farm, a 104.24-acre livestock operation
The Donald F. (Jr.), Alice, and Wende Swartz farm, a 33.67-acre crop and livestock operation
The Orin and Vickie Beard farm, a 66.87-acre crop and livestock operation
The Karl W. Kroeck farm, an 82.69-acre crop farm
The Michael A. and Jamie A. Noll farm #1, a 70.13-acre crop and livestock operation
The John S. and Nick Yuris farm #3, a 51-acre crop farm
To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program, visit agriculture.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Will Nichols - 717.787.5085
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