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Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Program Breaks 500,000-Acre Threshold

10/16/2014 | 02:53pm EST

HELLAM, Pa., Oct. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than a half-million acres of prime Pennsylvania farmland are now forever safe from development through the state agriculture department's nation-leading farmland preservation program.

The Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board safeguarded 6,293 acres on 66 farms during its meeting today, held at Flinchbaugh's Orchard and Farm Market outside Hellam, York County. The board preserved the greatest number of farms and acreage at a single board meeting in five years.

Pennsylvania has invested nearly $1.3 billion in protecting 500,079 acres on 4,704 farms across 57 participating counties since its state program was established in 1988.

"This milestone is an important achievement for Pennsylvania and for the nation, and is only possible because the partnership of farmers, volunteers, nonprofits and staff at all levels of government," said Greig. "No other state has such a strong commitment to its farming future as Pennsylvania. Because of this teamwork, we're keeping Pennsylvania growing for generations to come."

Farms preserved represent 19 counties: Berks, Blair, Bradford, Bucks, Chester, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lycoming, Mercer, Northampton, Schuylkill, Union, Washington, Wayne and York. The Flinchbaugh farm is the 259(th) preserved in York County, which has preserved 39,741 acres.

The Flinchbaughs moved from Lancaster, Lancaster County, to the current farm in 1951. The second, third and fourth generations grow fruits, vegetables, corn, hay and wheat on the 420-acre farm, along with 1,300 acres of leased land, today. An 8,000 square foot market allows the family to directly interact with and educate customers. The 170 acres preserved at the meeting join a 65-acre parcel of the farm preserved in June 2014.

The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program identifies properties and slows the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses. It enables state, county and local governments to purchase conservation easements, also called development rights, from owners of quality farmland.

In some cases, the federal Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program provides additional assistance. Last fiscal year, Pennsylvania received $4.2 million in federal reimbursements.

For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search "farmland preservation."

Media contact: Samantha Elliott Krepps, 717-787-5085

Editor's Note: Farms preserved:


    --  The Barbara Jayne Coffin farm #1, a 61.3-acre crop farm
    --  The Follweiler Farms Limited Partnership farm #1, a 69.9-acre crop farm
    --  The Larry and Patricia Bauscher farm #2, a 155.8-acre crop farm
    --  The Benjamin and Karah Davies farm #1, a 41.1-acre crop and livestock
    --  The Larry and Carol Mertz farm #3, a 102.5-acre crop farm


    --  The John and Sandra Burket farm, a 147.4-acre crop and livestock
    --  The Eric and Kristen Hoover farm, a 128.6-acre crop farm

The Alice Abell farm, a 633.2-acre crop and livestock operation


    --  The Elfreida Holzhauser farm, a 102.4-acre crop farm
    --  The Richard Jr. and Madeline Zaveta farm, a 146-acre crop and livestock
    --  The John and Barbara Lukens farm, an 80.8-acre crop farm
    --  The John Jr., Joan, Todd, Trina and Barbara Quinby farm, a 150.6-acre
        crop and livestock operation
    --  The Eric and Bernadette Schaffhausen farm, a 97-acre crop farm
    --  The Kenneth Hager and Gloria Richards farm, a 173.6-acre crop and
        livestock operation
    --  The Edward and Kathy Haney farm, a 22.3-acre crop farm
    --  The Wayne Long and Nancy Tretter farm, a 70.6-acre crop and livestock


    --  The B.K. Campbell Inc. farm, an 88.1-acre crop farm
    --  The Gideon and Rose Marie Stoltzfus farm, a 92.7-acre crop and livestock
    --  The Nathan and Patricia Stoltzfus farm, a 70.5-acre crop and livestock
    --  The Kenneth B. Sellers Jr. farm, a 50.4-acre crop farm
    --  The Daniel and Rebecca Stoltzfus farm #2, a 52.1-acre crop and livestock
    --  The Derek Strine and Katherine Stewart farm, a 72.2-acre crop farm
    --  The Castaldi Family Limited Partnership farm, a 68.2-acre crop farm
    --  The Eleanor Gawrys farm, a 32.3-acre crop farm


    --  The Robert and Alice Fritz farm #2, 204.3-acre crop farm
    --  The Dale and Suzanne Moore farm #2, a 71.2-acre crop farm

The Robert and Judy Shively farm, a 55.7-acre crop farm


    --  The David and Tena Kieffer farm #3, a 51.6-acre crop farm
    --  The Pepperd Irrevocable Grantor Trust farm #1, an 81.7-acre crop farm


    --  The Brenda Brown farm, a 50.8-acre crop farm
    --  The Ronald Helman #2 farm, a 33.3-acre crop farm
    --  The Paul and Dorothy Swartz farm #1, a 170.5-acre crop farm
    --  The Lester and Judy Wingert farm, a 153.1-acre crop and dairy operation
    --  The Raymond and Ruth Wingert farm, a 157.2-acre crop and dairy operation


    --  The John and Miriam Stoltzfus farm, a 66.8-acre dairy
    --  The Jeffrey Frey and Sue Ann Wertz-Frey farm, a 67.2-acre crop farm
    --  The Wilmer and Linda Groff farm #1, a 19.3-acre crop farm
    --  The Wilmer and Linda Groff farm #2, a 31.3-acre crop farm
    --  The Loren and Beth Martin farm, a 108.3-acre crop farm
    --  The Todd and Linda Miller farm #1, a 35.8-acre crop farm
    --  The Todd and Linda Miller farm #2, a 62-acre crop and dairy farm
    --  The Rohrer Properties LLC farm, a 64.5-acre dairy
    --  The Elmer and Annetta Sensenig farm, a 10-acre crop farm
    --  The David Smucker and Rebecca Faye farm #1, a 29-acre crop farm
    --  The David Smucker and Rebecca Faye farm #2, a 65.3-acre crop farm
    --  The Diane and Martin and Eugene and Linda Wechter farm, a 15.6-acre crop
    --  The Ryan Funk farm, a 22.5-acre crop farm
    --  The Elias Groff farm #1, a 51.5-acre crop farm
    --  The Elias Groff farm #2, a 53.6-acre crop farm


    --  The Stanley and Mark Bucher farm, a 112.8-acre crop and livestock
    --  The Linford and Audrey Snyder farm, a 116.4-acre crop and livestock
    --  The Verna Mae Struphar farm, a 117.9-acre crop farm
    --  The Carl Weidler farm, a 114.5-acre crop and livestock operation

The Russell and Marie Reitz farm, a 98.8-acre crop and livestock operation

The Christopher and Rachel Nickel farm, a 153.2-acre crop and livestock operation


    --  Clear Spring Farm LLC, a 20.5-acre crop farm
    --  The Margaret Dempsey, Helen Bartholomew, Anna Marie Pielert and Lewis
        Tanzos farm, a 41.3-acre crop farm

The Dwight and Richard Manbeck farm, a 110.7-acre crop and livestock operation

The Lavern Zook farm #1, a 177.7-acre crop and livestock operation

The William Iams farm, a 177.3-acre crop and livestock operation

The Stephen and Lorraine Walker farm #1, a 40.8-acre crop farm


    --  Troyer Farms LLC farm #1, a 124.9-acre crop farm
    --  The Harry Bickel farm, a 216.2-acre crop and livestock operation
    --  The Bruce Channell farm #1, a 59.1-acre crop farm
    --  The Flinchbaugh Farms LP farm #2, a 96.4-acre crop farm
    --  The Flinchbaugh Farms LP farm #3, a 73.23-acre crop farm

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

ę PRNewswire 2014
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