Lancaster Farmland Trust (LFT) announced that the King family preserved their 73-acre farm in Elizabeth Township, with the help of generous gifts to LFT’s Honoring the Promise Campaign during Acres for Auction at their 2021 Together For the Land event.
This farm has been in the King family since 1971. Mr. King grew up on the farm and remembers milking cows and doing chores on this land. As he grew, his love for farming and Lancaster County farmland deepened. He hopes his children will say the same when they are his age. “Growing up here, I have watched the landscape change as more and more developments are built. My parents worked so hard to keep and maintain this land. I don’t want to throw it away. I want to do my part in protecting the beauty of our home.”
A year ago, Mr. King purchased the farm from his mother and quickly knew he wanted to preserve the land. The Amish farmer protected his land forever in the spring of 2022 with Lancaster Farmland Trust. “The land would be worth more if we didn’t preserve it because a developer could get ahold of it, but I want our farm to stay. I want to give my kids the chance to farm the land they grew up on.” Mr. King sees preserving this land as a way to invest in his family’s future and protect the beautiful and viable land of Lancaster County.
Mr. King works as a salesman allowing him to travel throughout the northeast. Traveling gives him a unique perspective on the beauty of Lancaster County, “I travel, and I see how good the quality of soil is that we have here in Lancaster. There are times when we can harvest double per acre compared to other regions. This land is too precious to give up to development.”
The King family rents out much of their 73-acre farm. Their neighbors farm the land and alternate growing crops like corn and soybeans. Most interestingly, the King family tends pigeons as a side business. They harvest about 17,000 pigeons a week at peak season and sell them to New York City and Philadelphia restaurants. It gives the family a chance to work together and keeps them busy while Mr. King travels.
Next door, Mr. King’s brother’s farm is preserved through LFT. Collectively, these King family farms add to a patchwork of farmland protected forever. The preservation of these farms is a direct result of the support of the capital campaign. As Mr. King pointed to his brother’s land, admiring the view, he reflected, “Thank you for what you are doing to make this possible. This work you are doing is essential.”