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Shapiro Administration Invests $9.8 Million to Protect 2,629 Acres in 19 PA Counties from Development

by Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Photo courtesy of Daniel Bernard on Unsplash

The Shapiro Administration announced on Thursday, June 13, that Pennsylvania will purchase development rights for 2,629 acres on 28 farms in 19 counties, protecting them from future residential or commercial development. The farms, approved for conservation easement purchases by the State Agricultural Land Preservation Board, represent a $9.8 million investment to ensure that Pennsylvania farmers have the resources they need to continue supporting families, communities, and jobs.

“Pennsylvania’s location — near ports, interstates, railways, and 40 percent of the U.S. population — makes our state a great place to do business,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “If your business is farming, that location brings fierce competition from developers willing to pay top dollar for your land. Keeping prime farmland from becoming warehouses, housing developments, or parking lots is a critical investment the Shapiro Administration is making in partnership with farm families and county and local governments to feed our families, and our economy, and our future.”

Pennsylvania leads the nation in preserved farmland. Since 1988, when voters overwhelmingly supported the creation of the Farmland Preservation Program, Pennsylvania has protected 6,392 farms and 639,254 acres in 58 counties from future development, investing more than $1.7 billion in state, county, and local funds.

The state partners with county and sometimes local government and nonprofits to purchase development rights, ensuring a strong future for farming and food security. By selling development rights, farm owners ensure that their farms will remain productive farms and never be sold to developers.

Kyle Henninger and Beth Kramer’s Farm in Lehigh County’s Weisenberg Township is the seventh the family has preserved in an area where land is highly sought after for development. More than 477 acres of high-quality land on the family’s farms will continue to be dedicated to feeding future generations of Pennsylvanians.

Farms preserved today and dollars invested, by county:  

Adams County:

  • Total investment – $690,292; state – $470,270; county – $155,301; Conewago Township – $64,721
  • Hanover Shoe Farms #22, Conewago Township, 161-acre horse farm
  • Harry C. and Mary Jane Hilbert, Mt. Joy Township, 46-acre crop and livestock farm

Beaver County:

  • Total investment – $331,899; state – $251,969; county – $79,930
  • Seth and Amy Foley Farm #1, Franklin Township, 84-acre crop and livestock farm

Berks County:

  • Total investment – $291,039; state – $236,907; county – $54,132
  • Roger L. Zweizig Farm, Tilden Township, 104-acre crop farm

Bucks County:

  • Total investment – $1,212,200; state – $1,062,556; county – $149,644
  • Robin A. Staff Farm, Springfield Township, 120-acre horse farm

Butler County:

  • Total investment – $1,285,212; state – $925,223; county – $214,166, Clinton Township – $145,823
  • Edwards Family Partnership, Clinton Township, 78-acre crop farm
  • Ryan W. and Roxanne M. Graham, Center Township, 170-acre crop farm

Carbon County:

  • Total investment – $1,073,291; state – $915,500; county – $157,791
  • Kenneth Robert Bond Farm, Penn Forest Township, 172-acre crop farm

Centre County:

  • Total investment – $739,928; state – $627,972; county – $100,000; Ferguson Township – $11,956
  • Carl R. Gates Farm, Ferguson Township, 193-acre crop and livestock farm
  • Thomas W., Cynthia B., and William H. Hall, and Janis H. Goodman Farm, Halfmoon Township, 88-acre crop and livestock farm

Chester County:

  • Total investment – $797,223; state – $564,963, county – $232,260
  • Laura E. Lester Farm, New London Township, 39-acre crop farm
  • Stoney Bend Farm, Lower Oxford Township, 105-acre crop farm

Columbia County:

  • Total investment – $109,190; state only
  • Lloyd G. and Debra C. Breisch Farm #1, Main Township, 86-acre crop farm

Cumberland County:

  • Total investment – $760,103, state – $345,123, county – $414,981
  • Robert C. and Kathryn A. Boyce Farm #1, Lower Frankford Township, 77-acre beef farm
  • Cheryl D. Pauli Farm, Lower Frankford Township, 71-acre crop farm
  • Sharon R. and Paul A.T. Wolfgang Farm, Monroe Township, 100-acre crop farm

Franklin County:

  • Total investment – $339,177, state only
  • Douglas C. and Connie M. Miller, Montgomery Township, 63-acre crop and livestock farm
  • Dennis W. and Barbara S. Peckman Farm #2, Peters Township, 74-acre crop farm

Indiana County:

  • Total investment – $428,023, state – $395,023, county – $33,000
  • Robert D. and Christina E. Streams Farm #1, Blacklick Township, 167-acre crop farm

Lancaster County:

  • Total investment – $441,862, state only
  • Jeffrey M. Brown, Fulton Township, 107-acre crop and livestock farm

Lehigh County:

  • Total investment – $122,622, state – $113,866, county – $5,000, township – $3,756
  • Kyle L. Henninger and Beth A. Kramer Farm, Weisenberg Township, 19-acre crop farm

Mercer County:

  • Total investment – $71,255, state – $60,684, county – $10,571
  • Gary W. and Brenda M. Micsky, Delaware Township, 62-acre beef farm

Northampton County:

  • Total investment – $181,645, state – $19,193, county – $162,452
  • Kerrs Windy Hill Farm, Washington Township, 10-acre beef farm
  • Barbara Rokas Farm, Upper Mount Bethel Township, 42-acre crop farm

Tioga County:

  • Total investment – $227,127state – $146,992, county – $80,135
  • Jeffrey L. and Deborah A. Bowen, Charleston Township, 52-acre crop farm
  • Michael S. Shuey, Sr. and Amy Jo Vandernick Farm, Clymer Township, 131-acre crop and livestock farm

Union County:

  • Total investment – $296,138, state – $64,707, county – $231,431
  • Dennis J. and Tammy L. Boop Real Estate Protection Trust Farm, Lewis Township, 84-acre crop farm

Washington County:

  • Total investment – $393,182, state only
  • Weidacres Farm, North Strabane Township, 124-acre crop and livestock farm

These purchases multiply Pennsylvania dollars invested in conservation initiatives, including the $154 million Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program, supporting farmers’ efforts to reduce water pollution and improve soil quality, along with Clean & Green tax incentives, Resource Enhancement and Protection dollars, and other funding that is supporting Pennsylvania farmers in conserving and enhancing the clean water and healthy soil they need to be productive in the future.

To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program and investments in a secure, sustainable future for Pennsylvania agriculture, visit agriculture.pa.gov.

The post Shapiro Administration Invests $9.8 Million to Protect 2,629 Acres in 19 PA Counties from Development appeared first on BCTV.


Source: bctv

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