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Secretary of Agriculture Announces Availability of Realty Transfer Tax Exemption for Preserved Farm Owners through PA Farm Bill


Harrisburg, PA - Today Secretary Russell Redding announced that Pennsylvania’s more than 5,600 preserved farm owners would now be eligible to apply for a new realty transfer tax exemption through Governor Wolf’s Pennsylvania Farm Bill.

“We’re pleased to announce the availability of the PA Farm Bill’s Realty Transfer Tax Exemption for owners of preserved farms who transfer a farm to a qualified beginner farmer,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “These farmers have said ‘yes’ to Pennsylvania agriculture for perpetuity, Pennsylvania is now meeting that commitment with investments and services through the PA Farm Bill to secure a stronger future.”

Earlier this year, Governor Tom Wolf signed the first-ever Pennsylvania Farm Bill which included Act 13, championed by State Senator Judy Schwank, which states that realty transfer tax will not be imposed on transfers of real estate that part of Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program if the transfer is to a qualified beginning farmer. Qualified beginning farmers are defined as:

  • Someone who has demonstrated experience in the industry or a related field with transferrable skills;
  • has not received federal gross income from agriculture production for more than ten years;
  • intends to engage in agricultural production in Pennsylvania;
  • and has obtained written certification, as a result of an application, from the Department of Agriculture confirmed qualified beginning farmer status.

“Access to land is one of the biggest roadblocks for new and beginning farmers,” said State Sen. Judy Schwank, minority chair of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. “This bill helps remove a cost impediment and will be an incentive for these farmers to put more land under cultivation while also supporting our farmland preservation program.”

To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers - 717.783.2628

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