HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board on June 13 safeguarded 1,906 additional acres on 23 farms in 11 counties through the state’s nationally renowned farmland preservation program.
Since the program began in 1988, state, county and local governments have invested nearly $1.2 billion to preserve 475,000 acres on 4,426 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.
“Our farmland preservation program plays a critical role in keeping agriculture the cornerstone of Pennsylvania’s economy,” Agriculture Secretary George Greig said. “The producers who preserve their farms are helping ensure our prime farmland stays in agriculture production for generations to come, even against the challenges of population growth and urbanization.”
In its 25th year, the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program identifies properties and slows the loss of prime farmland to nonagricultural uses.
The program enables state, county and local governments to purchase conservation easements, also called development rights, from owners of quality farmland.
In some cases, the federal Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program provides additional assistance. Last fiscal year, Pennsylvania received a record $6.1 million in federal reimbursements.
The latest farms to be preserved, by county, were:
Berks — The Larry K. and Patricia Bauscher farm No. 1, a 106.60-acre crop and livestock farm.
Bucks — The Eugene J. and Margaret E. Sopel farm, a 62.99-acre crop farm.
Cambria — The Keith and Mary Ellen Bard farm No. 1, a 159.88-acre crop and livestock operation.
Columbia — The Matthew S. and Barbara A. Balliet farm No. 1, a 283.10-acre crop farm.
Franklin — The Bentley K. and Bruce Gamble farm, an 87.58-acre crop and livestock operation.
Lackawanna — Amasa Hill Farm, a 46.39-acre crop and livestock operation.
Lancaster — The Harold III and Anna Barley farm, a 23.51-acre crop farm; the James H. and Judith A. Bollinger farm, a 94.76-acre crop and livestock operation; the Homer and Etta Eberly farm, a 67.17-acre crop and livestock operation; the J. Leslie and Marcia Hess farm, a 39.43-acre crop farm; the Paul B. and Wilma M. Leid farm, a 24.02-acre crop and livestock operation; the Galen and Nancy Martin farm, an 84.99-acre crop farm; the Gilbert and Sandra Martin farm, a 43.15-acre crop farm; the Herbert and Rhoda Mast farm, a 108.10-acre crop and livestock operation; the Paul and J. Mark Miller farm, an 84.21-acre crop and livestock operation; and the David, Ruth, John and Linda Smucker farm, a 60.34-acre crop and livestock operation.
Lehigh — The Michael Crossley farm, a 69.27-acre crop farm; and the Harold V. and Linda L. Tyson farm, a 207.69-acre crop and livestock operation.
Monroe — The Stuart J. and Darlene A. Klingel farm, a 16.77-acre crop farm; and the Jeanne Marie Gibson farm, a 67.72-acre crop farm.
Northampton — The Jeffrey C. and Nancy A. Deloglos farm, a 48.37-acre crop farm; and the Kuronya Family Trust farm, a 44.85-acre crop farm.
Wayne — The Susan Skurski farm No. 1, a 75.36-acre crop and livestock operation.