“My advice is to not hesitate…we should preserve as many farms as we can, as soon as we can.”

Over the years, it pained me to see farmland developed; I realize that people need homes in which to live and factories in which to work, but I also believe it’s very important to preserve our farms.

My own farm is special to me because my father bought it when I was a teen and he worked so hard over the years to maintain the land, especially for me.

Twenty years ago, when my son was a boy of about 15 years old, I asked him if I should preserve our farm. “Yes”, he said, “we should do it.” Today, both my son and two daughters live on preserved farms. It is very rewarding to see this contiguous block of preserved farmland.

After preserving the upper half of the farm through the Lancaster Agricultural Preserve Board, I decided it was time to preserve the lower half as well. TheLancaster Farmland Trust helped me preserve this portion of the farm, which was approximately 44 acres. The Trust was very helpful, and I have all good words to say about them. I think the Trust does tremendous work in preserving farms.

Since I preserved my farm in 1991, several neighbors of mine also have preserved their farms. They decided to take the initiative because their area is under threat of development as well. These farmers are both Amish and Mennonite.

My advice is to not hesitate . . . preserve your land. We should preserve as many farms as we can, as soon as we can.