Montgomery County has added another farm to its growing list of permanently preserved farm properties. The Mashintonio #2 Farm was preserved on June 1, 2017. This 90-acre grain farm is located on Hoffmansville Road in New Hanover Township.
This newest farm brings the total to 159 farms and 9,351 acres preserved under the Montgomery County Agricultural Land Preservation Program. Montgomery County is one of 58 counties participating in this voluntary state program.
“Preserving 90 new acres of farmland is part of our plan to build a sustainable future for the county, and to support the hard work of our agricultural community contributing to that future,” said Dr. Val Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “Our local farming businesses give us access to healthy, local foods and conserve our prime agricultural soil.”
The Montgomery County Agricultural Land Preservation Program began in 1990. The program purchases agricultural easements from productive farms in Montgomery County. When the easement is sold, the owner keeps the land, but no longer has the right to develop the property for non-farm uses. The land must remain farmed in perpetuity. The farmer may sell the land, but the new owner must continue to farm the land as well.
“The preservation of this farm helps to implement the future land use vision in Montgomery County’s comprehensive plan, Montco 2040: A Shared Vision,” said Jody L. Holton, AICP, Executive Director of the Montgomery County Planning Commission.
Preserving farmland continues to be a priority statewide. More than 5,100 farms, totaling approximately 536,000 acres, have been approved for easement purchases under the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program. The county receives funds from the program, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. This year, the county’s commitment of $1.1 million helped to leverage $2.6 million of state funds for farmland easement purchases, which will greatly aid Montgomery County in its ongoing efforts to preserve land.
Farming is an integral part of the county’s sustainable future. The preservation of farmland and farming is important for the economy, environment, and local food availability in Montgomery County. This beneficial work could not be done without the support of the state and the many townships in the county that help to promote farms and farming.
Visit www.montcopa.org/FarmlandProgram for more information on the program, the county’s local food initiative, and a list of 2017 farmer’s markets in the county. For questions, please contact Danielle Weiden, Senior Planner/Farmland Preservation Administrator with the Montgomery County Planning Commission, at 610-278-5239 or via email at [email protected].