Mastriano Announces $1.3 Million to Preserve 520 Acres of Farmland in Adams and Franklin Counties

HARRISBURG – Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) today announced state, county and municipal governments will invest more than $1.3 million to preserve 520 acres of farmland in Adams and Franklin counties.

“Farmland preservation promotes the continuation of Pennsylvania’s strong farming heritage while also providing food security for commonwealth residents,” Mastriano said. “Farming is an essential part of life in our society and economy. Farms and the food they produce are the foundation of our commonwealth.”

The state will purchase development rights for the farms, ensuring they are protected against future residential or commercial development. The State Agricultural Land Preservation Board approved conservation easement purchases for the farms.

The state partners with county governments – and sometimes local governments and nonprofit organizations – to purchase development rights, ensuring the land will continue to be used for farming and provide food security for commonwealth residents.

The state is investing $195,930 with an additional $93,777 investment by Adams County and $29,980 from Cumberland Township for a total investment of $319,687 to preserve the 93-acre Maring Family Limited Partnership Farm.

The state is investing $903,223 with $150,000 from Franklin County to preserve four farms totaling 427 acres. These include the 139-acre Brechbill Family Revocable Trust Farm in Builford Township; 60-acre Wayne A. and Jackie M. Diehl Farm No. 2 in Southampton Township; 78-acre Thomas L. and Heather M. Lesher Farm in Guilford Township; and 150-acre Jay B. Shelly Farm in Peters Township.

The announcement comes as Mastriano continues his push to expand Pennsylvania’s Agriculture Conservation Easement Purchase Program.

Mastriano’s Senate Bill 288 would increase annual funding for the program by earmarking 10% of Pennsylvania’s realty transfer tax revenue to support the initiative. That would equate to an average infusion of more than $80 million in additional annual funds for farmland preservation in Pennsylvania.

Mastriano’s proposal also would expand eligibility for the program to enable smaller farms to participate. It would reduce by half the minimum subdivision size for preserved farmland from 50 acres to 25 acres. It also would enable the purchase of parcels smaller than 10 acres if they are adjacent to preserved land or used to produce crops unique to the area.

“Pennsylvania’s farmland preservation program is a model for other states to follow,” Mastriano said. “I want to expand and enhance the program, provide more funding and preserve more farmland in Pennsylvania. The money we invest in farmland preservation today will ensure there is food for our children and grandchildren tomorrow.”

Senate Bill 288 is awaiting consideration in the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

Constituents of the 33rd District can learn more about Mastriano by visiting his website at or following him on Facebook at

Media contact: Josh Herman

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