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