The Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Program has preserved a total 616,713 acres, made up of 6,118 farms across 58 counties. Funded in part through a USDA grant, the program was established in 1988 as a way to develop public policy around protecting farmland. Prior to its establishment, many landowners were vulnerable to pressure from developers. Program funds are used to purchase conservation easements that stay attached to a property, thus making preservation “permanent.” The Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Program is a bipartisan organization that enjoys strong support across party lines. Also popular among landowners, there is currently a wait list of around 1,200 farms seeking consideration. Farms are prioritized based on location, land value, and soil quality. A recent $7.85 million USDA grant will enable the program’s continued funding, which in 2021 totaled $54.8 million. Read more HERE.