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Pennsylvania moves to protect 32 farms in 18 counties from development

By John L. Micek

Officials at the state Department of Agriculture announced this week that the commonwealth recently moved to protect 32 farms in 18 counties from future development, preserving a total of 2,264 acres.

That came at a cost of $8.2 million in state, county and local money, the agency said in a statement.

The 32 newly preserved farms are in Berks, Bucks, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Schuylkill, Washington and York counties, officials said.

With this latest announcement, the state has helped to preserve 6,076 farms in 58 of the state’s 67 counties, putting a total of 613,884 acres of farmland off-limits to developers. All told, the state has spent $1.6 billion since 1988 on farmland preservation, the agency said in its statement.

“Saving farmland protects the beauty and productivity of our state, the health of our environment, the vitality of our economy, and our ability to feed a growing population,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said in a statement. “It is not only one of the most important investments our state, federal and local governments make together, it is a priority we all agree on.”

Pennsylvania Capital Star is part of the States Newsroom, a network of similar news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity.

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