HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board safeguarded 2,848 additional acres on 39 farms in 19 counties this past week through the state’s nation-leading farmland preservation program.
Since 1988, state, federal, and local governments have ensured that 5,675 Pennsylvania farms, covering 579,940 acres, in 59 counties will continue to be farms in the future.
Among those entering the program this past week was the F. Ernst Snook and Marie M. Snook Irrevocable Trust, a 181-acre crop farm in Union County.
“Our ability to feed a growing world and give consumers the locally-produced food they want is inextricably tied to how well we preserve farmland and protect our abundant natural resources,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Beautiful open spaces, clean water and fertile soil aren’t going to stay just because we want them, but because they provide economic opportunities that meet specific goals: producing food and fiber, giving consumers what they want, and enriching our quality of life.”
Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed budget for 2020 includes a $40 million investment in preserving more farms to safeguard agriculture for the future. The state board set the 2020 spending threshold at $43 million, which is the highest amount set aside to preserve farmland since 2007. In addition, county programs have certified $16.4 million in new funding for 2020.
Other farms entering the program are located in Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Lycoming, Northampton, Perry, Schuylkill and Wyoming counties. The farms preserved include crop, beef, livestock, dairy, and poultry operations.