HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Thursday, April 14, the Department of Agriculture announced that it will be protecting 3,528 acres on 40 farms in 19 counties around the state. They also announced that they will be investing $9.7 million in state and county dollars to preserve prime farmland for the future.

The investment also leverages $735,170 that will go towards preserving farms that are on waitlists in six counties. Some of the counties that are included in the announcement are in the Midstate. They include:

  • Adams
  • Cumberland
  • Franklin
  • Lancaster
  • Lebanon
  • Mifflin
  • York

“Protecting prime farmland is public policy that works, and a priority we all agree on,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “It’s a long-lasting, highly effective partnership among state, federal, county, and local governments and the farm families who are committed to feeding future generations. Together, we are protecting Pennsylvania’s priceless resources and sustaining our economy.”   

When landowners sell their land’s development rights, they are preserving their farms, as well as protecting the land from future residential commercial, or industrial development. Families with farms often sell their land at below market value to ensure that it will remain farmland.

Today’s approvals bring Pennsylvania’s total to 6,044 farms and 611,620 acres of farmland that will be forever protected from commercial, industrial or residential development.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program, as well as investments in a secure future for the commonwealth, click here.