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New Preservation Effort Protects 200 Acres of Local Farmland, Over 3,000 Acres Statewide | WDIY Local News

Melissa Askew

More than 200 acres of farmland in the Lehigh Valley will be protected thanks to recent preservation efforts by the state government.

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration recently announced in a release that 3,047 acres of farmland, across 32 farms in 21 counties, have been protected from future residential or commercial development.

The state invested over $10 million in state, county and local money to facilitate the preservation efforts, which involved purchasing the land development rights to the properties.

Lehigh and Northampton counties each had two crop farms protected, for a total of 217 acres.

$726,003 was invested in Lehigh County by the state, county and townships for the preservation of the 15-acre Elton B. Weaver Farm in Lynn Township and the 104-acre Fadil Farms in Lower Milford Township.

Northampton County saw $1,073,951 in state and county investments to preserve the 10-acre Michele G. Charf Farm in Washington Township, and the 88-acre Daniel J. Seiple, Kathryn R. Samuels, and Jane M. Yagerhofer Farm in East Allen Township.

According to the release, farm families often sell their land below market value, donate additional land, or agree to conservation practices on their farms to leverage additional federal and state money to preserve more family farms.

Pennsylvania leads the nation in preserved farmland. Since 1988, the state has invested over $1.6 billion to protect 6,180 farms and 622,238 acres in 58 counties from development.

Read more about the latest farmland preservation efforts here.

(Original air-date: 3/5/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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