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Pa. adds 30 farms to program

October 25, 2005

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania added 30 farms to its Farmland Preservation Program on Monday.

"We preserved another 3,219 acres of farmland today, further showing our commitment to the state's number one industry," State Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said.

None of the additional farms are in Franklin or Fulton counties. Rather, they are in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Indiana, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, Perry, Schuylkill, Tioga and York.

With these, Pennsylvania has preserved 2,717 farms totaling 311,679 acres. Wolff said the state is the national leader in the number of farms and acres preserved.

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Wolff said Pennsylvania will continue working to protect farmland because it's good for the economy and takes some financial pressure off farmers watching neighboring farms sold off to development.

"Pennsylvania has encountered increasing development pressures, resulting in higher land values and enticing many farmers to sell their acreage," Wolff said. "While we are able to preserve 60 acres a day, 300 are lost to development.

In July, the governor signed Growing Greener II into law after Pennsylvania voters approved a $625 million bond issue. The plan provides $80 million for the state's Farmland Preservation Program over six years, and "will help preserve 2,000 farms waiting to be protected from development," the ag department said in a press release.

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