Jun 18, 2021
$5.1M to safeguard 2,305 acres on 30 farms spent in Pennsylvania

On June 17, Pennsylvania safeguarded 2,305 acres on 30 farms in 19 counties, investing more than $5.1 million in the future of agriculture through the state’s nation-leading Farmland Preservation Program.

The program preserves farms to protect them from future residential, commercial or industrial development. They represent targeted investments in the future of farming and food security in Pennsylvania.

“Each acre of preserved Pennsylvania farmland is an investment in the future. When farmers commit to land preservation, they are assuring a resilient food system for tomorrow because their acres will always be available to produce food,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said in a news release. “These farmers have resisted pressure to sell to developers and deserve our thanks for thinking of future generations. It is generous farmers like these who have made Pennsylvania the leading state for farmland preservation.”

The 30 farms preserved today are in Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Butler, Centre, Chester, Dauphin, Cumberland, Erie, Franklin, Huntingdon, Indiana, Lancaster, Lehigh, Lycoming, Montgomery, Northampton, Washington, Westmoreland counties.

These farms include crop, livestock, Christmas tree, and poultry operations.

Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county, and local governments have purchased permanent easements on 5,899 Pennsylvania farms totaling 599,132 acres.

Today’s purchases include:

  • The Carol Ann Bucar farm, a 149.53-acre beef, hay and apiary operation in Forward Township, Allegheny County. Bucar is an advocate for farmland preservation in her community and plans to transfer the farm to her son, who wants to farm.
  • The Richard C. and Kathleen Dietrich farm, an 88.60-acre crop farm located in Greenwich Township, Berks County. With 75,964 acres permanently protected in the county, Berks is a preservation leader. In addition to the Dietrich farm, four other Berks County farms were approved for easement purchase earlier today. The Dietrich farm is within two miles of twenty-four preserved farms—creating a large block of preserved farmland that will always be available for future generations.
  • The Kevin and Kelly Caldwell Farm #2, a 50.06-acre crop farm located in Daugherty Township, Beaver County. The farm’s location, just north of Pittsburgh International Airport, makes it attractive for non-agricultural development. The Caldwell’s also operate another preserved farm in the area that has been in the family for over 100 years.
  • Brian and Heidi Geverd farm, also known as Goshenhoppen Farm, a 32.83-acre crop and vegetable operation located in Upper Frederick Township, Montgomery County. The Geverd’s grow hot peppers and are known for their award-winning hot sauce, a PA Preferred product.

Farms preserved and dollars invested, by county:

Allegheny County  total investment – $807,671.50, state only

The Carol Ann Bucar farm, a 150-acre livestock operation

Beaver County – total investment – $158,689.24 state; $49,847.24 county

Kevin & Kelly Caldwell farm #2, a 50-acre crop operation

Berks County – total investment – $217,998.87 state; $218,775 county

The Jeffrey L. & Amy L. Brown Farm, a 17-acre crop and livestock operation

The Richard C. & Kathleen Dietrich farm #2, an 89-acre crop operation

The Kenneth E. & Margaret D. Miller farm #1, a 66-acre crop and livestock operation

Joyce A. Schantz, surviving trustee of the Schantz Family Trust, a 37-acre crop operation

The Melanie Leigh Younker farm, a 58-acre crop and livestock operation.

Bucks County  total investment $249,420 state; $235,920 county; $78,640 Township; $39,320 nonprofit

The Felix J. & Beatrice M. Buehner Farm, a 39-acre crop operation

Butler County  total investment $370,435.67 state; $7,000 county

The James & Jo Ann Riddle farm #3, a 90-acre crop and livestock operation

Centre County  total investment $312,850.08 state, $50,000 county

The Pauline E. Cooper Estate, a 157-acre crop operation

Chester County  total investment $240,576.04 state, $22,3280 county

The Larry & David Newswanger farm, a 55-acre crop operation

The Zunino Partnership, a 27.91-acre crop operation

Cumberland County  total investment $248,413.25 state, $50,0000 county

The Ronald L. Tritt Farm, an 80-acre crop and livestock operation

Dauphin County  total investment $102,099.52 state only

The Michael Sweigard, farm #2, a 153-acre crop farm

The Bruce A. & Debra L. Weaver farm #2, a 34-acre crop operation

Erie County – total investment $52,044.73 state only

The Quatro Farm #2 LLC, a 26-acre crop operation

Franklin County – total investment $52,134.66 state only

The Fred E. & Dale E. Rice farm #3, a 19-acre crop operation

Huntingdon County – total investment $197,184.35 state; $50,000 county

The Robert D. & Susan J. Campbell farm, a 223-acre crop and livestock operation

Indiana County – total investment $183,156.65 state; $25,000 county

The Anthony G. Pizarchik farm #1, an 82-acre crop operation

Lancaster County  total investment $811,831.61 state; $345,270 county

The G. Bard Farm #1, a 64.99-acre beef operation

The G. Bard Farm #2, an 82.23-acre poultry operation

The Jay H. Kauffman farm, a 107-acre crop and livestock operation

The James E. & Debra L. Krantz farm, a 135-acre crop and livestock operation

Lehigh County  total investment $17,891.93 state; $502,080.30 county

The D&J Trexler Farm, an 87.93-acre crop operation

Lycoming County  total investment $83,714.15 state; $8,705 county

The Michael R. Kessler farm, a 70-acre crop and livestock operation

Montgomery County – total investment $215,066.31 state; $2,068.29 county

The Brian & Heidi Geverd Farm #1, a 33-acre crop farm

Northampton County  total investment $17,6702.10 state; $307,343.24 county

The C, S&K Hester & R. Pinto farm, a 33-acre crop operation

The R&D Longley farm, a 23.13-acre Christmas tree operation

Washington County  total investment $511,240.06 state; only

The Marko Brigich Jr. Farm #2, a 166-acre crop and livestock operation

Westmoreland County  total investment $9,302.70 state; $1 county

A&J Donovan Farm #1, a 45.82-acre crop operation

To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program, and investments in a secure future for Pennsylvania agriculture, visit agriculture.pa.gov

Emily Demsey, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

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