Preservation Board approves investing $33 million in saving farmland for 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's Agricultural Land Preservation Board today safeguarded 1,445 additional acres on 21 farms through the state's nationally renowned farmland preservation program.
The board preserved farms in 10 counties. They are Armstrong, Beaver, Berks, Chester, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Northampton, Westmoreland and York counties.Since the program began in 1988, state, county and local governments have invested nearly $1.2 billion to preserve 471,601 acres on 4,385 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production. "Governor Corbett is committed to preserving our state's farms and the way of life for our more than 62,000 farm families," Agriculture Secretary George Greig said. "I thank the producers who have enrolled their farms in this program. Their foresight will help keep a new generation of farmers farming." The board approved a $33 million state funding threshold for 2013 easement purchases. Counties across Pennsylvania have certified $15.4 million for farmland preservation in 2013. Celebrating its 25 th anniversary, the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program identifies properties and slows the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural 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 $6.1 million in federal reimbursements, the largest amount ever. For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search "farmland preservation." Media contact: Will Nichols, 717-787-5085 Editor's Note: A list of the farms preserved follows: Armstrong The George Kepple farm, a 109.39-acre livestock farm Beaver The James and Cathy Spiker farm #1, an 81.67-acre crop and livestock operation Berks The Louis Jr. and Ann Marie Chiesa farm, a 96.20-acre crop farmThe Edward and Lucy Burkholder farm #1, a 53.50-acre crop and livestock operationThe Erma Gruber farm #1, a 26-acre crop farmThe Russell and Carole Heiter farm #1, a 136.10-acre crop and livestock operationThe Jeremy and Cindy Martin farm #1, a 50.70-acre crop and livestock operationThe Joseph and April Rosenbaum farm #1, a 113.30-acre crop and livestock operationThe F. Mark and Kim Weber farm #2, a 40.20-acre crop and livestock operation Chester The Titus and Violet Beam farm, a 69.69-acre crop farm Dauphin The Ray, Amy, Dale and Thelma Kennedy farm #1, an 80.83-acre crop and livestock farmThe Ray, Amy, Dale and Thelma Kennedy farm #2, a 30.83-acre crop and livestock farm Lancaster The Deborah Funk farm #1, a 19.52-acre crop farm Lebanon The Nelson and Susan Sensenig farm, a 50.16-acre crop farm Northampton The David Borcherding farm, a 43.19-acre crop farmThe Kenneth and Judith Faust farm #2, a 13.77-acre crop farmThe Charles and Doris Kull farm, a 39.29-acre crop farmThe Larry and Clarissa McEwen farm, a 61.91-acre crop and livestock operation Westmoreland The John and Mary Ann McIlvaine farm #1, a 135.89-acre crop and livestock operationThe William Ober farm #1, a 130.90-acre crop and livestock operation York The Carl and Margaret Shaull farm, a 62.35-acre crop farm SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture