Farms Protected in Adams, Centre, Cumberland, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Northampton, Schuylkill, Union, York counties.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced the preservation of 1,519 acres on 22 farms in 11 counties. The development rights approved for purchase by the State Land Preservation Board represent a more than $5.8 million investment in helping ensure that Pennsylvania farmers will have prime farmland to feed our families and economy in the future.

Farms preserved today and dollars invested, by county:

  • Adams County – Total investment – $123,589; $3,594 – state, $119,995 county
    • Paula K. Frey, Mt. Joy Township, 46-acre crop farm
  • Centre County – Total investment – $445,999; $223,798 state, $4,357 county, $217,844 township
    • Joanne M. Fisher, Halfmoon Township,117-acre crop and livestock farm
  • Cumberland County – Total investment – $148,529 state only
    • Ronald L. and Judy P. Deihl, Lower Frankford Township, 83-acre crop and livestock farm
  • Lancaster County – Total investment – $679,548; $42,099 – state, $470,414 – county, $88,550 township
    • Christopher D. and Lois A. Hoover, East Drumore Township, 42-acre crop and livestock farm
    • Stevie G. and Susie L. King, West Lampeter Township, 47-acre dairy farm
    • Kerry L. Meyer, Penn Township, 56-acre crop farm
    • Daniel S. and Barbara G. Smucker, Caernarvon Township, 39-acre dairy farm
  • Lebanon County – Total investment – $201,781; $144,944 – state, $56,837 county
    • Kathleen S. Eisenhouer, Linda S. Johnson, Glen R. Hess, North Annville Township, 79-acre crop farm
  • Lehigh County – Total investment – $1,645,867; $220,018 – state, $1,425,848 – county
    • William G. and Cheryl C. Ash and Brian Brady, Heidelberg Township, horse farm
    • Weinhofer Farms LLC, Whitehall Township, 154-acre crop farm
    • Errol W. and Virginia A. Zellner, Brenda Kay and Robert Price, Washington Township, 28-acre crop farm
  • Luzerne County – Total investment – $210,415, state only
    • Burger’s Farm LLC, Butler Township, 59-acre crop farm
  • Northampton County – Total investment – $552,772, state only
    • Jody L. and Megan M. Snyder, Lehigh Township, 33-acre crop farm
    • Weinhofer Farms LLC #3, East Allen Township, 16-acre crop farm
  • Schuylkill County – Total investment – $608,850; $543,850 – state, $65,000 – county
    • Baron and Robin Heatherington #2, Union Township, 50-acre crop farm
    • William K. Stump #1, Wayne Township, 157-acre crop farm
    • Carl H. and Edith E. Wehry and Carl J. Wehry #1, Barry Township, 84-acre crop and livestock farm
  • Union County – Total investment – $212,755; $109,652 – state, $103,104 – county
    • Ralph M. and Lexie C. Reish, Buffalo Township, 69-acre crop and livestock farm
  • York County – Total investment – $1,009,547; $21,180 – state, $988,367 – county
    • Lynn D. and Tammie M. Godfrey #1, Springfield Township,127-acre crop farm
    • Kevin D. and Robin D. Grim #1, Paradise Township, 108-acre crop farm
    • Larry W. and Lisa Kenton #1, Washington Township, 28-acre crop farm
    • Stephen J. and Dolores E. Krick #1, Lower Chanceford Township, 72-acre horse farm

“In the simplest terms, without farms we don’t eat,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “Pennsylvania has some of the richest soil in the nation and is situated near ports, railways, interstate highways, and 40 percent of the nation’s population – the very people we need to feed. Protecting those economic opportunities and irreplaceable resources for our farmers is one of the most important investments we make as a state.”

Notable among farms preserved this month, two Schuylkill County farms will trigger additional investment of federal dollars through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The farms are along the Kittatinny Ridge, an area rich in farmland and forested land, critical not just for producing food, but for providing wildlife habitat and improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay, and with it, the water supply of the mid-Atlantic region. These dollars will be used for preserving farms whose owners have applied for easements but were placed on a waiting list until funds became available.

Also notable, the Frey farm in Adams County was preserved using funds donated to the county by Tim Brown, a neighboring farmer in Mt. Joy township. Prior to his death, Brown, a former chair of the Adams County Land Preservation Board, left more than $500,000 to the county to be used to preserve farmland surrounding his farm.

“Farm families who sell their land development rights are leaving a legacy that will ensure that future Pennsylvania families have green spaces and healthy farmland to produce food, income, and jobs,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “Tim Brown was passionate about that legacy. He embodied the care of the environment and his neighbors that defines so many Pennsylvania farmers.”

Pennsylvania leads the nation in preserved farmland. Since 1988, when voters overwhelmingly supported creation of the Farmland Preservation Program, Pennsylvania has protected 6,336 farms and 634,375 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.

These purchases continue to multiply Pennsylvania dollars invested in conservation initiatives, including the $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

This post adapted from a release by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.