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02/20/2020

Pennsylvania Adds 39 Farms, 2,848 Acres to Nation-Leading Farmland Preservation Program

Harrisburg, PA - Today Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board safeguarded 2,848 additional acres on 39 farms in 19 counties through the state’s nation-leading farmland preservation program. Since 1988, state, federal, and local governments have ensured that 5,675 Pennsylvania farms, covering 579,940 acres, in 59 counties will continue to be farms in the future.

“Our ability to feed a growing world and give consumers the locally-produced food they want is inextricably tied to how well we preserve farmland and protect our abundant natural resources,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Beautiful open spaces, clean water and fertile soil aren’t going to stay just because we want them, but because they provide economic opportunities that meet specific goals: producing food and fiber, giving consumers what they want, and enriching our quality of life.”

Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed budget for 2020 includes a $40 million investment in preserving more farms to safeguard agriculture for the future. At today’s meeting, the state board set the 2020 spending threshold at $43 million, which is the highest amount set aside to preserve farmland since 2007. In addition, county programs have certified $16.4 million in new funding for 2020.

The 40 farms preserved today are in Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Lycoming, Northampton, Perry, Schuylkill, Union, and Wyoming counties. The farms preserved include crop, beef, livestock, dairy, and poultry operations.

Notable easement purchases from today’s meeting include the Sandra Brzezinski Farm, a 146.89-acre Cambria County crop farm. Brezezinski donated the farm to fulfill her late brother Tom Kepshire’s request that the farm remain in agriculture. She is ensuring her brother’s wishes by preserving it and actively advocating for farmland preservation in her community. The state board will reimburse incidental costs of securing the donation.

Also among the farms preserved today was a 95.26-acre Cumberland County crop farm, owned by Rose Dillner, which includes the Benjamin Blythe Homestead. Blythe, was one of the first settlers in western Cumberland County. The homestead is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Blue Rock Farm, a 90.17-acre farm in Bucks County was preserved using state, county, municipal funds combined with private funding from Heritage Conservancy. Farmland preservation program thrives on strong partnerships among all levels of government and non-profits like Heritage Conservancy.

A full list of farms preserved:

Beaver

The McConnell Farm #1, a 46.07-acre crop farm

The Edward L. and Karen S. Pflugh Farm #2, a 51.16-acre beef operation

The James H. Spiker Farm #3, a 50.84-acre beef operation

Berks

The Donna M. Davis Farm, a 91.2-acre crop farm

The Neil E. and Doris M. Hoffman Farm #2, a 15-acre crop farm

KnK Investments, LLC, a 30-acre crop farm

The Elmer L. and Beryl A. Schrack Farm #1, a 48-acre crop farm

Bucks

Blue Rock Farm, a 90-acre crop farm

The Nicholas Lykon & Robin McGinnis-Lykon Far, a 71-acre crop farm

Butler

Greenspace Land, Inc. Farm #1, a 36-acre crop farm

Greenspace Land, Inc. Farm #2, a 34-acre crop farm

The Ronald R. and Carol J. Kennedy Farm #2, a 52-acre crop farm

Cambria

The Sandra A. Brzezinski Farm #1, a 147-acre crop farm

Centre

The J. Roy Campbell Farm #1, an 82-acre crop farm

The Galen G. and Katherine M. McWilliams Farm, a 100-acre crop farm

Chester

The Teresa Maxwell Farm, a 63.93-acre crop farm

The Sebastian Estate, a 68-acre crop farm

Cumberland

The Rose Dillner Farm, a 95-acre crop farm

The Pennsylvania Agriculture Education Center, a 123-acre crop farm

Dauphin

The Nancy, Virginia, Franklin and John Groff Farm #1, a 172.07-acre crop farm

Huntingdon

The Robert B. and Patricia S. Metz Farm, a 101-acre livestock farm

Lancaster

The David K. and Ruthie L. Blank Farm, a 68-acre dairy operation

The Bryan L. and Julene E. Harnish Farm, a 95-acre crop farm

The Frederick H. and Grace T. Hess Farm, a 32-acre crop farm

The Frederick H. and Grace T. Hess Farm #2, a 49-acre crop farm

The Loren L. and Lisa Dawn Martin Farm, a 25-acre crop farm

The Martha K. Smucker Farm, a 50-acre crop farm

Wanner's Family Limited Partnership, a 150-acre dairy operation

The Lester N. and Sharon Ann Zimmerman Farm, a 66-acre crop farm

Lebanon

The Stephen J. and Janeen R. Martin Farm, a 71-acre poultry operation

Lehigh

Upper Macungie Township #2, a 17-acre crop farm

Upper Macungie Township #3, a 30.6-acre crop farm

Lycoming

Leisure Acre Farm Partnership, a 45.48-acre crop farm

Northampton

Moore Township #4, a 45.57-acre crop farm

The Robert C. Oswald Farm #2, a 50.26-acre crop farm

Perry

The Douglas R. and Piper S. Sarver Farm, a 93.78-acre crop and livestock farm

Schuylkill

The Craig A. and Theresa E. Luckenbill Farm #1, a 147.73-acre crop farm

Union

F. Ernst Snook and Marie M. Snook Irrevocable Trust, a 181.33-acre crop farm

Wyoming

The Fred J. and Louisa P. Clark Farm, a 62-acre crop and livestock farm

The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program 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 the meeting are allocated to county programs to purchase development rights to preserve farms on county waiting lists.

To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program, visit agriculture.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers - 717.783.2628

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