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Planning Commission

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Oct 31

Preserved Farmland in Pennsylvania Hits 500,000 Acres!

Posted on October 31, 2014 at 2:25 PM by Rita McKelvey

Lansdale Farm Market
Lansdale Farm Market

Pennsylvania is proud of its largest industry—agriculture. In 1988, the state legislature started a program for the permanent preservation of working farms as a way to slow non-agricultural development of Pennsylvania's land. From the start, it has been popular with farmers, farm businesses, farm neighbors, and practically all citizens in each county. They appreciate the rural landscapes, locally produced food, wildlife habitat preservation, and more.  

Montgomery County, PA currently has 152 preserved farms on 8,945 acres, and the number continues to grow. On October 16, this successful program reached the impressive number of 500,000 preserved farm acres in Pennsylvania, including Montgomery County. To celebrate the milestone, Governor Corbett and others met on the York County farm of the family with acre 500,000—the Flinchbaugh family. The governor noted that October 16 was another important occasion—World Food Day. The theme of World Food Day this year, “Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth,” sums up Pennsylvania agriculture.

In Montgomery County, the farmland preservation program is administered by a five-member Farm Board. According to Board Chair Jonathan Rinde, "The preserved farms' products in Montgomery County are as diverse as beef, milk, grain crops, flowers, fruits, and more.  They benefit our populated county along with the other important local businesses."  

Through its county farmland preservation program, more farms will be preserved in the coming months and years. Thank you to the farmers who farm the preserved farms and to county voters who approved the funding for this successful program. Learn more about Montgomery County’s farmland preservation program.

Blog Authors: Jonathan Rinde, Chair of the Montgomery County Agricultural Land Preservation Board, and Elizabeth Emlen, Senior Farmland Preservation Administrator, MCPC

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