The board preserved farms in Adams, Bedford, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Montgomery, Northampton, Susquehanna, Union and Washington counties.
Since the program began in 1988, state, county and local governments have invested nearly $1.2 billion to preserve 468,092 acres on 4,342 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.
"Preserving farmland is an important part of securing a stable financial future for Pennsylvania agriculture," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "As the cornerstone of our state's economy, agriculture generates $5.7 billion in annual cash receipts. One in seven jobs is linked to agriculture, so by preserving farmland, we're sustaining farming and ensuring jobs."
To help save the state's farmland, the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program identifies properties and slows the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses.
The program 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 $6.1 million federal reimbursements, the largest amount ever.