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Pennsylvania Invests $9.4 Million to Ensure 33 Farms in 16 Counties Will Produce Agriculture for Future

08/20/2020

Harrisburg, PA - Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced today that Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board added 2,512 acres on 33 farms in 16 counties to the nation’s leading farmland preservation program. Today’s $9.4 million investment purchases development rights for these farms to ensure they will remain in agricultural production permanently.

“Pennsylvania farmers sacrifice to put food on our tables in good times and bad,” Redding said. “Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation program is a covenant between farmers and government to protect our priceless land resources. It is the foundation of food security and a joint investment in feeding our future.”

The $9,429,743 total investment includes nearly $8.9 million in state money, more than $540,000 in county dollars, and $15,000 invested by townships. Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county and local governments have purchased permanent easements on 5,756 Pennsylvania farms totaling 586,884 acres in 59 counties, investing more than $1.6 billion to ensure that Pennsylvania will have land to produce agriculture in the future.

The 33 farms preserved today include crop, fruit and vegetable, equine, dairy and livestock operations in Berks, Centre, Chester, Dauphin, Erie, Franklin, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Perry, Westmoreland and York counties.

Notable farms include the 120.6-acre Earle Wickersham farm in Newlin Township, Chester County, which provides fresh dairy and egg products to the local community. The farm’s exemplary soil and water conservation practices contribute to a cleaner Brandywine Creek watershed and Delaware Bay. All preserved farms are required to follow a conservation plan that addresses soil, water and nutrient concerns.

The 104.31-acre Quatro, LLC, potato farm in Girard Township, Erie County is a prime example of climate, soil and infrastructure conditions for fruit and vegetable production that are so important to the local and state economy. According to the county’s comprehensive plan, Girard Township has some of the most significant farmland in Pennsylvania. 

The 27.77-acre Michael and Kris Stofanak farm in East Allen Township, Northampton County joins a cluster of more than 300 contiguous acres of preserved farmland in a township that has recently lost significant amounts prime farmland to warehouse development.

Full list of farms preserved:

Berks

The Marvin Sauder et al Burkholder Farm, an 89-acre crop farm

Centre

The Donald and Teresa Grove Farm, an 82-acre crop farm

Chester

The Stephen E. and Jamie M. Esbenshade Farm, a 15-acre crop farm
The Michele Schofield, Joseph and Sonia DiPierro Farm, a 36-acre equine operation
The Earle H. Wickersham Farm, a 121-acre dairy operation
The George P. Wickersham Jr. Farm, a 121-acre crop and livestock farm

Dauphin

The Dale E. Koppenhaver Farm #2, a 61-acre crop farm
The David and Diana Marshall Farm #2, a 110-acre crop and livestock operation
The Ronald and Joyce Novinger Farm #2, a 32-acre crop and livestock farm
The Terry L., Craig and Susan Stehr Farm, a 167-acre crop farm

Erie

The Quatro LLC Farm #1, a 104-acre crop farm
The Jeffrey A. and Pamela Thompson Farm #2, a 24-acre fruit and vegetable farm

Franklin

The Jeremy D. and Elisabeth J. Martin Farm, a 61-acre crop and livestock farm

Lackawanna

The James B. and Janet L. Corey Farm #1, a 115-acre crop farm

Lancaster

The LP Barley Farms #1, a 92-acre dairy operation
The Thomas Barley Farm, a 69-acre crop farm
The William F. Brossman Farm #2, a 51-acre crop farm
The Edward L. and Debra A. Zug Farm, a 121-acre dairy operation

Lebanon

The John B. and Sharon L. Kline Farm #2, a 68-acre crop and livestock farm

Lehigh

The Richard A. and Bonita L. Bleiler Farm #4, an 83-acre crop farm
The John E. and Dixie D. Gross Farm, a 62-acre crop farm
The Blaine E. and Melody May Herb Farm, a 56-acre crop farm
The Greg W. and Rene G. Snyder Farm, a 19-acre crop farm
The Andrew M. and Margaret-Ann Wright Farm, a 13-acre crop and livestock farm

Luzerne

The Richard D. and Susan L. Larock Farm, a 64-acre crop farm
The Helen Stanovich and Robert Kashubski Farm, a 76-acre crop farm

Monroe

The LaRue High Farm #1, an 82-acre crop farm

Northampton

The Robert A. Ackerman and Beverly A. Beahn Farm #2, a 36-acre crop farm
The Michael P. and Kris M. Stofanak Farm, a 28-acre crop farm

Perry

The Lorena L. Rice Farm #2, a 191-acre crop and livestock farm

Westmoreland

The David and Donna Ritenour Farm #1, a 120-acre crop and livestock farm

York

Barley Farms LP #8, an 87-acre crop farm
The Tayacres Farm, a 56-acre dairy operation

Investments in preserving farmland have been further enhanced by investments Governor Tom Wolf made in Pennsylvania’s first-ever PA Farm Bill in 2019. The bill created the Agricultural Business Development Center to support business planning, marketing, diversification, risk management and transition planning. The bill also included a realty transfer tax exemption for the transfer of preserved farmland to a qualified beginning farmer.

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

For more information about efforts to foster food security for Pennsylvanians and support the farmers who produce our food, visit agriculture.pa.gov/foodsecurity.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers - 717.603.2056; shpowers@pa.gov

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