HARRISBURG, Pa. — Today, Pennsylvania protected 2,370 acres on 26 farms in 16 counties through the state’s nation-leading Farmland Preservation Program. Since 1988, the program has purchased permanent conservation easements on 5,869 Pennsylvania farms, covering 596,827 acres, in 59 counties, ensuring they will remain farms in the future.
“Farmland is essential for food production. As the population grows, farmers must produce more food. Yet, each year, fertile farm acres are lost to development. Once farmland goes out of production, it rarely comes back,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “That’s why preserving farmland it so important. Farmland preservation is an investment in the future, promising tomorrow’s generations a resilient agriculture industry with ample ground to grow food.”
By selling their land’s development value, landowners preserve their farms, protecting the land from future residential, commercial or industrial development. The commonwealth partners with counties to purchase the development value, ensuring a strong future for farming and food security in Pennsylvania.
The 26 farms preserved today are in Adams, Berks, Bradford, Carbon, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lehigh, Lycoming, Mifflin, Northampton, Westmoreland, and York counties.
These farms include crop and livestock operations.
Notable farms preserved today include:
The Lobaugh Farm, a 27.49-acre crop farm, which supports the larger “Ber-Crk Farms” dairy operation. This small but productive Adams County tract provides valuable hay and corn for feed. The property is located in the strong farming community of Huntingdon Township, with over 2,000 acres preserved.
The Ambrose Farm, a 135.15-acre bicentennial crop farm located in Westmoreland County, is the first farm preserved through the state program in Cooke Township. Several neighboring farms were preserved by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to land conservation.
The Feusner Farm, a 343.99-acre beef operation located in Bradford County. The farm borders a picturesque lake used for recreation and has significant road frontage, making it a target for residential development pressures. The family is committed to conservation and wants to see the farm protected for future generations.
Farms preserved and dollars invested, by county:
Adams County – Total investment $25,680 state; $358,574 county.
The Vincent, Jennifer, Dean and Michelle Lobaugh farm, a 27-acre crop operation
The Diane G. and Ronald I. Resh farm, a 130-acre crop operation.
Berks County – Total investment $165,310.06 state; $65,550 county.
The Lawrence W. and Marlene B. Burkholder farm, an 87-acre crop and livestock operation.
Bradford County – Total investment $313,890 state; $40,000 county.
The Donald D. and Donna L. Feusner farm, a 344-acre crop and livestock operation.
Carbon County – Total investment $292,715 state; $49,548 county.
The Donald L. and Brenda A. Rex farm, a 99-acre crop operation.
Chester County – Total investment $6,575 state; $134,545 county.
The Jonas B. Jr. and Deborah Ann Stolzfus farm, a 31-acre crop operation.
Cumberland County – Total investment $772,089 state; $172,735 county.
The Jonathan W. Bream farm, a 24-acre crop operation.
The Donald E. Deckman Living Trust farm, a 137-acre crop operation.
The Winifred Carol Williams farm, a 92-acre crop operation.
Dauphin County – Total investment $281,550 state.
The Eli L. and Sadie M. King farm, a 93-acre crop and livestock operation.
The Kenneth Jr., Julia and Charles Staver farm, a 95-acre crop and livestock operation.
Franklin County – Total investment $551,068 state.
The Wayne A. and Jackie M. Diehl farm, a 137-acre crop operation.
The Dennis W. and Barbara S. Peckman farm, a 103-acre crop operation.
Juniata County – Total investment $61,760 state.
Supplee Brothers Farm LLC #1, a 56-acre crop operation.
Lancaster County – Total investment of $203,544 state.
The Rodney M. and Teresa K. Heisey farm, a 50-acre crop operation.
Lehigh County – Total investment of $476,891 state.
The Linda S. Gruber farm, a 45-acre crop and livestock operation.
Prange Real Estate Holdings LLC, an 18-acre crop and livestock operation.
The Nancy L. Trabin, Barbara J. Ginsburg and Mathias J. Green III farm, a 41-acre crop operation.
Lycoming County – Total investment of $206,740 state; $22,542 county.
The Charles E. and Sandra O. Kitzmiller farm #2, a 180-acre crop operation.
Mifflin County – Total investment $128,492 state; $50,758 county.
The Melvin R. and Judy L. Peachey farm #1, a 130-acre crop and livestock operation.
Northampton County – Total investment of $203,591 state; $139,490 county.
The Jason and Melanie R. Kocher farm, a 26-acre crop operation.
The Jeffery Poliskiewicz farm, a 37-acre crop operation.
Westmoreland County – Total investment $229,090 state; $341,426 county.
The Robert E., Sally J., Stephen P., and Kenneth N. Ambrose farm, a 135-acre crop operation.
The Linda J. Guyer and Dana A. Miller farm, a 69-acre crop and livestock operation.
York County – total investment of $549,396 state.
The Kevin N., Martha J., Christopher L., and Jeri H. Miller farm #2, a 131-acre crop farm.
The Frank A. Wickes Jr. farm #3, a 54-acre crop operation.
To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program and investments in a secure future for Pennsylvania agriculture, visit agriculture.pa.gov.
–Shannon Powers, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture