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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

PA Purchases Development Rights To Harrison Township Farm

Potter County Farm One Of 22 Preserved

The Harold G. and Delia M. McCutcheon farm #1, a 151.51-acre crop and livestock operation in Harrison Township, Potter County, was just added to the more than 470,000 acres across the state that owners have agreed to maintain as farmland.

The program enables state, county and local governments to purchase conservation easements, also called development rights, from owners of quality farmland.

Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board today safeguarded 2,064 additional acres on 22 farms in 17 counties through the state’s nationally renowned farmland preservation program.

The board preserved farms in Adams, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Butler, Centre, Chester,Dauphin, Juniata, Luzerne, Mifflin, Monroe, Perry, Potter, Union, Wayne and Westmoreland counties.

Since the program began in 1988, state, county and local governments have invested nearly $1.2 billion to preserve 470,155 acres on 4,364 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.

“Through this program, we’re not just preserving farmland, but a way of life and a major economic driver for the state,” Agriculture Secretary George Greig said. “Agriculture generates $6.7 billion in cash receipts and supports one in seven jobs across Pennsylvania. We’re helping to keep farmers farming and securing a stable financial future in the state.”

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.

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.

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