Montgomery County Farmland Preservation
The Montgomery County Agricultural Land Preservation Program, also known as the farmland preservation program, purchases agricultural easements on productive farms in Montgomery County. When the easement is sold, the owner keeps the land but no longer has the right to build non-agricultural buildings. The land must remain in farming in perpetuity. The farmer may sell the land, but the new owner must continue to grow productive crops or pasture on it. Applying to the program is voluntary. For information on the program, contact Danielle Dobisch at 610-278-5239.
Program StatusAs of March 2018, there are 160 farms preserved in Montgomery County under the farmland preservation program. These farms total 9,228 acres. In Pennsylvania there are 5,270 preserved farms in 59 participating counties; 546,936 acres total. Application material is available below and in the Montgomery County Planning Commission office.
FundingFunding for the program comes from both the county and state, and sometimes, the municipality. The Montgomery County Commissioners may allocate money each year to preserve farms in Montgomery County. The remainder of the funding comes from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through cigarette taxes, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, and other sources. A township or borough may contribute money to preserve a farm within its own boundaries.
2017 Keep farming Conference
Over 100 people attended Keep Farming in Montgomery County: A Conference Focusing on Sustaining Farming for the Future, which took place on February 10, 2017 in Franconia Township. Sponsored by Montgomery County in conjunction with active cosponsors, this was the fifth farming conference to be offered by the county. The conference, another step in helping to preserve farmland and the farming industry, focused on major topics of interest to farmers including funding sources for on-farm improvements, emerging sectors of the marketplace, soil health, diversifying farm products, and transitioning farms to the next generation.