On December 10, 2020, it was announced that Pennsylvania safeguarded 2,710 acres on 32 farms in 17 counties through the state’s nation-leading Farmland Preservation Program. In 2020, the state board, in collaboration with county boards, preserved 177 farms and 14,727 acres of farmland across the commonwealth.

The director and staff of the Bureau of Farmland Preservation were recently recognized by the Wolf Administration for continuing their work while overcoming telework obstacles throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The disruptive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Pennsylvania’s agricultural system have been broad and varied,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “This year, we’ve watched farmers and consumers bridge the gap from farm to table. Producers and households have depended on each other for certainty and our state’s Farmland Preservation Program has made food security possible for our families and farmers across the commonwealth.”

Preserved farms are protected from future residential, commercial or industrial development. They represent targeted investments in the future of farming and food security in Pennsylvania.

The 32 farms preserved today are in Adams, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lehigh, Lycoming, Monroe, Northampton, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland, and York counties.

These farms include fruit, vegetable, equine, crop, livestock, sheep, goat, and dairy operations.

Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county, and local governments have purchased permanent easements on 5,813 Pennsylvania farms totaling 591,819 acres.

Notable farms preserved today include the Taggart Family Farm, a 73.45-acre bicentennial crop farm located in Butler County. The farm has been in the family for 220 years. John Taggart, who immigrated from Ireland in 1800, purchased the farm, which will remain in agriculture with certainty for future generations. Statewide, there are now 190 bicentennial farms, many of which are also preserved.

Barrick Farms LLC, a 482.25-acre dairy operation in Cumberland County, is the largest farm secured by the county board to date. The Barrick’s donated half of the easement value to the program, further leveraging funds for additional farms to be preserved.

The David James Nolt Farm, a 95.68-acre crop farm in Lancaster County, is nearly all Class 1 soils. According to USDA, Class 1 soils are the most productive prime farmland in the nation.  Lancaster County is a leader, with over 1,000 farms preserved through the state program and in partnership with Lancaster Farmland Trust, a non-profit organization.

Farms preserved and dollars invested, by county:

Adams County – total investment of $109,932.53 state, $83,594.61 county

The Donald, Diane, Curtis and Christopher MacBeth Farm #2, a 30-acre fruit and vegetable operation

The Rex Sr., Ricky O. and Terry J. Farm, a 47-acre fruit and vegetable operation

Berks County – total investment of $596,551.13 state, $266,250.00 county

The Glenden and Hallie Martin Farm, a 119- acre crop and livestock operation

RS Enterprises Holdings Corp., a PA Corporation, a 44-acre crop and livestock operation

The Charlotte E. Sunday Farm, a 163-acre crop and livestock operation

Bucks County  total investment of $198,720.00 state, $183,720.00 county

The Sara B. MacGowan Farm, a 31-acre equine operation

Butler County  total investment of $250,177.47 state, $100,000.00 county

Taggart #1 2020, a 73-acre crop operation

Clinton County  total investment of $194,930.80 state, $61,659.00 county

The George W. and Fay L. Courter Farm, a 137-acre crop and livestock operation

Cumberland County  total investment of $986,199.27 state, $150,000.00 county

Barrick Farms, LLC, a 482-acre crop operation

The Mabel L. Strock Farm, a 61-acre crop operation

Dauphin County  total investment of $34,005.00 state only

The Murray and Rhonda Laudenslager Farm #3, a 23-acre crop operation

Lancaster County  total investment of $426,656.97 state, $593,307.00 county

The Philip E. and Sharon L. Fullerton Farm, a 19-acre sheep and goat operation

The Jeremy L. and Jay A. Garber Farm, a 37-acre crop operation

The D Neidigh Farm, a 159-acre crop operation

The David James Nolt Farm, a 96-acre crop operation

TTJ Enterprises, LLC, a 48-acre sheep and goat operation

The John Ivan and Suetta N. Zimmerman Farm, a 48-acre dairy operation

Lawrence County – total investment of $149,448.50 state, $32,410.00 county

The Betsy Musser Farm, a 130-acre crop operation

Lehigh County  total investment of $225,589.00 state only

The Jared and Andrea Hermany Farm, a 31-acre crop operation

The Richard W. Hermany Farm, a 17-acre crop operation

Lycoming County  total investment of $166,969.79 state, $18,061.26 county

The Robert Lehman Farm, a 144-acre crop operation

Monroe County  total investment of $370,229.16 state, $205,850.00 county

The LaRue High Farm #2, a 98-acre crop operation

The LaRue High Farm #3, a 41-acre crop operation

Northampton County – total investment of $558,719.52 state, $232,090.58 county

Moore Township Farm #6, a 26-acre crop operation

Sutliff Farms #3, a 37-acre crop operation

The Gladys L. Estate Werner Farm, a 54-acre crop operation

Washington County  total investment of $269,507.61 state only

Deemer/Blank, an 86-acre crop and livestock operation

Wayne County total investment of $275,436.67 state, $2,616.03 county

Courtright Farm #1, a 165-acre crop and livestock operation

Westmoreland County  total investment of $460,643.00 state only

The Gregg L. and Kimberly R. Goldstrohm Farm #1, a 109-acre crop and livestock operation

York County– total investment of $461,425.00 state only

The Robert B. and Judy K. Burchett Farm #3, a 78-acre crop operation

The Russell S. and Jennifer L. Towson Farm #1, a 26-acre crop and livestock operation

Willow Brook Farm, LLC, a 51-acre crop operation