HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board safeguarded 1,445 additional acres on 21 farms last week through the state’s farmland preservation program.
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.
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.
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.
The 21 farms preserved last week were:
Armstrong — George Kepple farm, a 109.39-acre livestock farm.
Beaver — James and Cathy Spiker farm No. 1, an 81.67-acre crop and livestock operation.
Berks — Louis Jr. and Ann Marie Chiesa farm, a 96.20-acre crop farm; Edward and Lucy Burkholder farm No. 1, a 53.50-acre crop and livestock operation; Erma Gruber farm No. 1, a 26-acre crop farm; Russell and Carole Heiter farm No. 1, a 136.10-acre crop and livestock operation; Jeremy and Cindy Martin farm No. 1, a 50.70-acre crop and livestock operation; Joseph and April Rosenbaum farm No. 1, a 113.30-acre crop and livestock operation; and F. Mark and Kim Weber farm No. 2, a 40.20-acre crop and livestock operation.
Chester — Titus and Violet Beam farm, a 69.69-acre crop farm.
Dauphin — Ray, Amy, Dale and Thelma Kennedy farm No. 1, an 80.83-acre crop and livestock farm; and No. 2, a 30.83-acre crop and livestock farm.
Lancaster — Deborah Funk farm No. 1, a 19.52-acre crop farm.
Lebanon — Nelson and Susan Sensenig farm, a 50.16-acre crop farm.
Northampton — David Borcherding farm, a 43.19-acre crop farm; Kenneth and Judith Faust farm No. 2, a 13.77-acre crop farm; Charles and Doris Kull farm, a 39.29-acre crop farm; and Larry and Clarissa McEwen farm, a 61.91-acre crop and livestock operation.
Westmoreland — John and Mary Ann McIlvaine farm No. 1, a 135.89-acre crop and livestock operation; and William Ober farm No. 1, a 130.90-acre crop and livestock operation.
York — Carl and Margaret Shaull farm, a 62.35-acre crop farm.
For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search “farmland preservation.”