PA Invests $9.8 Million to Protect 2,629 Acres on 28 Farms in 19 Pennsylvania Counties from Future Development

Pennsylvania will purchase development rights for 2,629 acres on 28 farms in 19 counties, protecting them from future residential or commercial development. The farms, approved for conservation easement purchases by the State Agricultural Land Preservation Board, represent an $9.8 million investment to ensure that Pennsylvania farmers have the resources they need to continue supporting families, communities, and jobs.

“Pennsylvania’s location — near ports, interstates, railways, and 40 percent of the U.S. population — makes our state a great place to do business,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “If your business is farming, that location brings fierce competition from developers willing to pay top dollar for your land.”

Pennsylvania leads the nation in preserved farmland. Since 1988, when voters overwhelmingly supported creation of the Farmland Preservation Program, Pennsylvania has protected 6,392 farms and 639,254 acres in 58 counties from future development, investing more than $1.7 billion in state, county, and local funds.

The state partners with county, and sometimes local government and nonprofits to purchase development rights, ensuring a strong future for farming and food security. By selling development rights, farm owners ensure that their farms will remain productive farms and never be sold to developers.

Kyle Henninger and Beth Kramer’s Farm in Lehigh County’s Weisenberg Township is the seventh the family has preserved in an area where land is highly sought after for development. More than 477 acres of high-quality land on the family’s farms will continue to be dedicated to feeding future generations of Pennsylvanians.