Agricultural and Farmland Preservation News
CENTRE COUNTY NEWS
Research Unplugged is back at the Pasto Agricultural Museum
The Pasto Agricultural Museum is the venue for an in-person “Research Unplugged” presentation on Thursday, October 21. “Thank a bee! The importance of pollination in Pennsylvania,” will be the topic of this presentation given by Natalie Boyle, assistant research professor in entomology.
New online resource digs into Centre County history
The Centre County Historical Society launched an online encyclopedia with more than 100 entries packed with information about the county’s bygone days, including the County's agricultural history and the farmland preservation program. Learn more
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NEWS
Pennsylvania protected 1,999 acres on 21 farms in 13 counties on October 14 through the state’s nation-leading Farmland Preservation Program. Since 1988, the program has purchased permanent conservation easements on 5,949 Pennsylvania farms, covering 603,646 acres, in 58 counties, ensuring they will remain farms in the future.
New round of COVID-19 relief funding available for farms of all sizes
Have you applied for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP2) relief funds yet? A short phone call could result in thousands of dollars of relief funding for your farm. FSA has recently expanded its capacity to process CFAP2 applications quickly. This new round of funding better accommodates a broader scale of farms and products than previous iterations of the program. To apply, simply call your county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. The call could take 20 minutes or less if you have your sales and inventory records on hand!
2021 Farm Vitality Planning Grants available
Pennsylvania's Farm Vitality Planning Grants provide $7,500 grants to current and prospective farmers for farm planning. The grants can fund up to 75 percent of the costs to help you expand your operation (such as by adding a value-added product enterprise) or plan for a management or ownership transfer. Expenses from July 1, 2020 can be included. Grant applications will be accepted beginning April 19, 2021 until funding is depleted. Apply now >>
PA Bureau of Farmland Preservation 2020 Annual Report
Pennsylvania is a national leader in farmland preservation with 5,869 farms and 596,827 acres protected through permanent agricultural conservation easements. Public funds used toward easement purchase are a critical investment in the future of Pennsylvania’s thriving $132.5 billion agricultural industry. In addition to the economic benefit, the program ensures food supply for a growing population. Pennsylvania has some of the most fertile, non-irrigated soils found anywhere in the world.
The COVID19 pandemic and increased threat of climate change both put food security at a heightened level of awareness and further support the need to continue preserving farms. The latest USDA ag census figures indicate that the commonwealth lost roughly 6,000 of its farms from 2012-2017. Development pressures will threaten prime farmland soils in the decade ahead. Farmland preservation mitigates these irreversible losses.
Since 1991, Centre County has preserved 56 easements and 8,300 acres of farmland.
Preserving Centre County Farmland Forever
Presentation for the Ag Forum of Centre County_09.08.21
A Visual Tour of Preserved Farms in Centre County
FARMING NEWS FROM AROUND THE STATE AND THE NATION:
The Future of Farmland Preservation
What does the future of farming in Pennsylvania look like?
Pennsylvania is investing in helping farmers who will be transitioning to new owners and operators,
as well as qualified new and beginning farmers.
10 numbers that show how much farmland we’re losing to development
"What’s new ... is the discovery that the development isn’t coming only from urban areas expanding outwards – rural areas are also losing farmland rapidly."
PA Bureau of Farmland Preservation
Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of farms and acres permanently preserved for agricultural production. The program guarantees a future food supply and contributes to a healthier economy.
This webpage dedicated to the Beginner Farmer Realty Transfer Tax Exemption (Act 13 of 2019) includes basic information about the program, frequently asked questions, and associated forms.
If you have questions about resources for farmers, contact Diana Griffith, Centre County Ag Land Preservation Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (814) 355-6791.