HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board preserved farms from across the state, including an eight-generation dairy and a conservation award-winning beef farm.
“Preserving farmland is a team effort among diverse groups united in our effort to spare the state’s best agricultural soils from development,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Together we help farmers to take an important step toward securing a future for their operations. This meeting is the culmination of an important chapter in the stories of 47 farm families from all corners of Pennsylvania.”
The board preserved 47 farms covering 3,561 acres across 21 counties: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Lycoming, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, Tioga, Union and Westmoreland. Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county and local governments have purchased permanent easements on 5,540 farms totaling 569,767 acres in 59 counties for agricultural production.
Farms included the Luxor Farm in Westmoreland County, owned by the Heinnickel family, who have received awards including Conservation Farmer of the Year and Outstanding Farmer Cooperator. As the region experienced a coal boom in the late 1800s, the farm tended horses that worked the region’s mines. Today, the Heinnickels raise beef cattle and crops.
The Marvin and Catherine Teter farm in Schuylkill County was preserved through a partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The federal Agricultural Conservation Easement Program reimburses up to half of the easement purchase price of qualifying farms, freeing county funds to purchase additional easements.
Mark and Marie Canon operate a progressive eighth-generation dairy in Mercer County, modernized in 2016 to include a robotic milking system. The Canons welcome schoolchildren to the farm to educate them on how food gets from the farm to the table. Marie was named 2018 Outstanding Woman in Agriculture by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.
The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program, as it is formally known, is dedicated to slowing the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses. Funding allows state, county and local governments to purchase conservation easements from owners of quality farmland. State, county, local and federal funds committed at today’s meeting are allocated to county programs to purchase development rights to preserve farms on county waiting lists.
These investments in preserving farmland for future production will be further enhanced by investments Gov. Wolf proposed in the Pa. Farm Bill.
The Gerald P. and Alice J. Faust farm #1, a 48.3-acre crop farm
The Joseph M. and Debra L. Kohler farm #1, a 150.7-acre crop farm
The Joseph M. and Debra L. Kohler farm #2, a 80.8-acre crop farm
The Kevin Z. and Melanie R. Martin farm #1, a 43.4-acre crop farm
The Jeffrey R. and Deborah A. Sweinhart farm #1, a 61.7-acre crop farm
The Paul and Jocelyn Stepanoff farm, a 41.42-acre crop farm
The Stephen D. Klein Irrevocable Trust farm, a 91.1-acre crop farm
The David R. Wolfinger farm, a 19.81-acre crop farm
The Daniel J. Black farm, a 30.11-acre crop and livestock operation
The I. Glen and Eileen J. Engle farm #4, a 79.76-acre crop farm
The Nora Gammon farm, a 23.94-acre crop farm
The Mary Lou King farm #1, a 41.35-acre crop farm
The Holly Reyburn farm #2, a 42.78-acre crop farm
The Gerald E. and Cynthia L. Rohrer fam, a 109.92-acre crop farm
The Jonas E. Jr. and Lizzie S. Stoltzfus farm, an 89.68-acre crop farm
The RFF Partners farm #2, a 192.17-acre crop and livestock operation
The Donald A. McKeehan farm #7, a 30.63-acre crop farm
The Chester L. and Pauline M. Smith Revocable Trust farm, a 70.82-acre crop farm
The Daniel P. Witmer III farm, a 162.77-acre crop and livestock operation
The Robert A. and Judy A. Kessler farm #1, a 14.71-acre crop farm
The William S. and Sharon L. McCahren farm, a 113.32-acre crop farm
The Jonathan and Kelly B. McCoy farm #1, a 41.62-acre crop and livestock operation
The William F. Brossman farm, a 57.94-acre crop farm
The Jacob and Edith Weiler farm #1, a 94.92-acre crop farm
The Jacob and Edith Weiler farm #2, a 105.58-acre crop farm
The Jeffrey L. and Debra K. Workman farm, a 110.81-acre crop farm
The Edward W. Nicol farm, a 143-acre crop and livestock operation
The James Z. and Thelma M. Brubaker farm #2, a 103.6-acre crop and livestock operation
The Dwayne E. Henritzy farm, a 12.4-acre crop farm
The Lower Macungie Township farm #2, a 21.48-acre crop farm
The Lower Macungie Township farm #5, an 18.76-acre crop farm
The Krotzer Family Real Estate Protector Trust farm, a 253.77-acre crop and livestock operation
The Mark R. and Marie A. Canon farm, a 300.51-acre crop and livestock operation
The Edna M. Schoenberger farm, a 36.37-acre crop farm
The Stephen R. and Barbara Slutter, et. al. farm, a 24.2-acre crop and livestock operation
The Drew and Holly Bechtel farm #1, a 55.19-acre crop farm
The Charles S. and Patricia K. Evans farm, a 21.23-acre crop and livestock operation
The Harvest Acres, LLC farm, a 72.34-acre crop and livestock operation
The Benjamin V. and Lauren A. Hugo farm, a 20.49-acre crop farm
The Profeta Farms Pennsylvania, LLC farm, a 109.26-acre crop farm
The Gary L. and Richard E. Hart farm #2, a 77.77-acre crop farm
The Glenn R. Hetherington farm #4, a 45.08-acre crop farm
The Marvin and Catherine Teter farm #1, an 82.75-acre crop farm
The Rick and Charlotte Bowen farm, a 50.63-acre crop farm
The Carly Bowen-Clark and Gary Clark, Jr., farm, a 123.21-acre crop farm
The Dennis and Anna Wolfe farm #1, an 11.05-acre crop and livestock operation
The Luxor Development Company LLC farm #1, a 28.02-acre crop and livestock operation
To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program, visit agriculture.pa.gov.
— Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture