Farmland Preservation Publication Archive
Published February 24, 2023, this eight-page, hyperlinked issue for our PACE preserved farm landowners and applicants is a comprehensive guide to the Commonwealth’s current tools and policies on stewarding preserved farmland -- from staying current on conservation plans to transferring ownership. Link to the Farm Transition Planning page
PACE Questions and Answers
PACE Program Guide
A guide to preserving farmland in Centre County through Pennsylvania's Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement (PACE) program.
Centre County PACE Program 2022 Annual Report (PDF)
This publication documents the achievements and initiatives we undertook in 2022 – most notably in growing the number of farm preservation projects we have in progress and expanding our educational endeavors. The PACE program is now managing 60 easements across 16 Centre County townships, and we will have 65 farms preserved by the end of 2023.
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As we invest in preserving our prime farmland, it's equally important that we invest in stewarding that land and protecting our soil
We hosted our first ever event for our preserved farm landowners and farmland preservation applicants at one of our preserved farms, the Happy Valley Vineyard and Winery, in Ferguson Township on September 13. The subject was soil health, with a focus on cover cropping and pest management. Sponsored in partnership with the Centre County Conservation District, the event was supported by an American Farmland Trust grant. The evening’s emcee was Devyn McPheeters, nutrient management technician with the Centre County Conservation District,
who was joined by three specialists in soil health.
Centre County Agricultural Land Preservation News Update ~ Spring 2022
This issue of our farmland preservation newsletter encourages our preserved farm landowners to schedule their annual inspections and invites them to a free Soil Health Workshop at the Happy Valley Winery on September 13, 2022. This workshop (and the printing and mailing of this newsletter) are supported by an American Farmland Trust grant to promote soil health. We have included a survey to assess their interest in attending the workshop and how we can support their soil health goals. We included a postage-paid envelope in our landowner mailing as a convenience to encourage them to return their soil health surveys to us.
This issue also advises our farmers how to update their conservation plans and introduces them to Devyn McPheeters of the Conservation District as our partner in conservation plan assistance.
Centre County Agricultural Land Preservation News ~ Winter 2022
Farms Under Threat 2040: Choosing an Abundant Future
America's farmland and ranchland is rapidly disappearing, threatening our food security, undermining the agricultural economy, and making us vulnerable to climate shocks. The nation has a choice: allow unchecked sprawl to erode this critical resource, or safeguard it with policies that protect farmland and smarter land-use planning that leads to efficient growth.
This American Farmland Trust report maps three alternative futures out to the year 2040.
Centre County’s agricultural easement program preserves 56th farm
The Centre County Agricultural Land Preservation Board on January 13 officially preserved 82 additional acres of farmland, bringing its total acreage for preserved farms to 8,300 acres.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Farmland Preservation administers programs that protect prime farmland for future generations. Pennsylvania is a national leader in farmland preservation with 6,044 farms and 611,620 acres protected through permanent agricultural conservation easements (April 2022). 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 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. cp99042.pdf (usda.gov) Development pressures will threaten prime farmland soils in the decade ahead. Farmland preservation mitigates these irreversible losses.
Centre County Agricultural Land Preservation News Update March 2020
This issue features the PASA Sustainable Agriculture Conference, the PA Farm Bill, and other resources for farmers.
Centre County Agricultural Land Preservation News Update January 2020
Featuring Public Officials Day presentations at the PA Farm Show, as well as an opportunity for preserved farm landowners to apply for state Farm Vitality Planning grants, aimed at helping to offset the cost of professional planning services.
Centre County Agricultural Land Preservation Newsletter Fall 2019
Our mission is to strengthen communication with farmers throughout
Centre County. This first issue of our newsletter featured the Centre County’s Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement (PACE) program
and the PA Farm Bill. Signed by Governor Tom Wolf in July 2019, the
Farm Bill funds programs to help farmers who will be transitioning to new owners or operators, as well as support qualified beginning farmers.
- Respect for Farmland
- Why Preserve Farmland?
- Municipal Partnership Program
- Municipal Partners Help Leverage Farmland Preservation Funds
- Farm Transition Planning
- Guide to Solar Options on Your Preserved Farm
- Centre County Preserved Farms
- Paths to Farmland Preservation Guide
The Centre County Planning and Community Development Office manages the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's PACE program, which pays approved applicants for their development rights so that the land can never be developed. The Centre County Agricultural Land Preservation Board has been preserving farms since 1991.
The Centre County Farmland Trust, founded in 1994 as a private,
non-profit organization, permanently preserves farms using the WeConservePA land trust model. The program is not affiliated with
Centre County's PACE program.
Both offer a path to farmland preservation, but each program differs in many ways. Landowners are encouraged to explore which approach will best meet their needs and goals.
- Which Path to Preserving Farmland is Best for You?
Two proven approaches differ in many ways
- Why Donate Development Rights to Woodland?
- Stewarding Healthy Soils
- Managing Forests as Climate Solution