February 29, 2024
Investment

Shapiro Administration Invests $46.3 Million During 2023 to Protect 166 Farms Forever from Development; December $8.7 Million Investment Preserves 30 Farms in 21 Counties


Farms Protected in Adams, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Chester, Erie, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montgomery, Northampton, Union, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland, Wyoming, York counties

Harrisburg, PA – The Shapiro Administration announced today that Pennsylvania preserved 2,553 acres on 30 farms in 21 counties, forever protecting them from residential or commercial development. This investment of more than $8.7 million brings the total during 2023 to nearly $46.3 million invested to purchase land development rights for 13,663 acres on 166 farms, helping ensure that Pennsylvania farmers will have prime farmland to feed our families and economy in the future.

Preserving prime farmland is one of the critical investments Governor Josh Shapiro has made in supporting Pennsylvania’s 52,700 farm families. The nearly 6.4% overall increase in the Agriculture Department’s budget for 2023-24 is multiplying farmers’ efforts to conserve land, soil, and water resources by investing in land preservation, equipment purchases, business planning, and farm management tools they need to innovate and grow.

“Without prime farmland, we simply don’t have the resources to grow food and supply the $132.5 billion our industry feeds into our economy every year,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “Pennsylvania farm families who sell their land development rights are leaving a legacy that ensures Pennsylvania families will have green spaces and healthy farmland available to produce food, income, and jobs. The Shapiro Administration is proud to support that legacy.”  

Pennsylvania leads the nation in preserved farmland. Since 1988, when voters overwhelmingly supported creation of the Farmland Preservation Program, Pennsylvania has protected 6,314 farms and 632,856 acres in 58 counties from future development, investing more than $1.69 billion in state, county, and local funds.

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

Farms preserved today and dollars invested, by county:  

Adams County – Total investment – $348,810, $299,721 – state, $24,989 county, $60,100 Township

Arentz Family #2 – 60-acre crop farm, Union Township

Bruce Pohlman and Son Hog Farm – 43-acre crop farm, Union Township

Berks County Total investment — $1,011,061, $451,359 – state, $559,702 county

Jerry L. and Darlene A. Berk – 89-acre crop farm, Albany Township

Dean E. and Darene B. Hartman – 140-acre crop farm, Lower Heidelberg Township

Elam G. Hoover – 133-acre crop farm, Bern Township

Blair County – Total investment – $270,127, $185,127– state, $85,000 — county

James R. and Linda J. Negley – 125-acre crop farm, Huston Township

Bucks County – Total investment – $143,500, state only

TNT Groundworks – 17-acre crop farm, Riegelsville Borough

Chester County – Total investment – $239,977, $9,645 state, $230,333 county

Thomas W. Morelli, Jr. – 42-acre crop farm, East Nantmeal Township

Erie County – Total investment – $165,051 state only

Shane L. and Judith A. Kosterman #1 – 92-acre crop farm, Venango Township

Franklin County – Total investment – $271,066 state only

Donald and Denise Martin #1 – 105-acre crop farm, Guilford Township

Huntingdon County – Total investment – $301,630, $256,630 state, $45,000 county

Kristen N. and Kenneth E. Snyder Jr. – 224-acre crop and livestock farm, Warriors Mark Township

Lancaster County – Total investment – $182,806, $12,046 — state, $125,760 – county, $45,000 township

Sandra J. Witmyer – 43-acre crop farm, Warwick Township

Lebanon County – Total investment – $51,423, $26,498 – state, $24,929 county

Charles R. and Susan M. Zimmerman – 20-acre crop farm, Jackson Township

Lehigh County – Total investment – $1,474,385, $1,178,403 – state, $206,019 – county, $89,963 – township (Upper Milford)

Russell E. and Susan L. Foster – 130-acre crop farm, Weisenberg Township

Stanley A. and Carol A. George – 64-acre crop farm, Weisenberg Township

Donald A. Haas – 55-acre crop farm, Lowhill Township

Leslie H. Nonnemacher – 21-acre crop farm, Upper Milford Township

Lycoming County – Total investment – $230,423, $217,852 – state, $12,572 county

Mountaintop Real Estate Holdings – 98-acre crop farm, Cogan House Township

Gary R. and Barbara A. Womelsdorf – 81-acre crop and livestock farm, Moreland Township

Mifflin County – Total investment – $230,099, $175,830 – state, $54,269 county

Steven R. and Juanita M. Byler – 167-acre crop farm, Granville Township

Montgomery County – Total investment – $1,420,431, $902,031 – state, $302,400 county, $216,000 — township

Andrew Dale and Tanya Joy Frankenfield – 12-acre crop and livestock farm, Franconia Township

Northampton County – Total investment – $317,682 state only

Stacey and Clayton Stine III – 42-acre crop farm, Upper Mount Bethel Township

Union County – Total investment – $464,958, $388,976 – state, $75,982 county

Luke W. and Ada Mae Hoover #2 – 25-acre crop farm, Buffalo Township

Alan C. and Chrystal L. Kaler #1 – 141-acre crop and livestock farm, Lewis Township

Washington County – Total investment – $244,893, $234,893 – state, $10,000 — county

Charles E. Monticello #2 – 97-acre crop and livestock farm, Cross Creek Township

Wayne County – Total investment – $145,542, $132,712 – state, $12,829 — county

Charles J., Amy S. and Andrew Theobald – 96-acre crop and livestock farm, Clinton Township

Westmoreland County – Total investment – $311,174 state only

Rosa Beth Snyder-Boyd and Kenneth H. Ofslager #2 – 86-acre crop farm, South Huntingdon Township

Wyoming County – Total investment – $147,868, $96,378 – state, $51,490 — county

Benjamin Zdandiewicz – 68-acre dairy farm, Falls Township

York County – Total investment – $722,708, $430,317 – state, $292,392 — county

Daniel J. and Beth A. Innerst #2 – 103-acre crop and livestock farm, Springfield Township

Christopher G.F. and Megan E.F. Lighty #1 – 138-acre crop farm, Windsor Township

These purchases continue to multiply public dollars invested in conservation initiatives, including the new $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 conservation funding. Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program also secured a $7.85 million federal grant from USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program to support climate-smart conservation on preserved Pennsylvania farms, an investment that will not only improve conservation efforts, but help measure their impact.

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

Media Contact: Shannon Powers, shpowers@pa.gov, 717.603.2056

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