Farmland Preservation



  • The Farmland Preservation program was established in 1988 to curb the conversion of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses and the loss of productive farm soils.
  • Cigarette tax revenue is the most significant source of dedicated funding for farmland preservation in Pennsylvania, generating an annual amount of approximately $20.5 million.
  • Cigarette tax revenue has provided 45% of all state funding for farmland preservation.
  • Access to a steady source of matching funding has been a key reason that ?Pennsylvania’s farmland preservation program has been so successful. State funding creates an incentive for counties and townships to allocate local funds for ?farmland preservation.
  • This relationship is how Pennsylvania has preserved more than 450,000 acres of ?farmland on more than 4,000 family farms in 57 counties in Pennsylvania.

Highlights of Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation program

  • As of December 2011, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1 billion to safeguard 457,537 acres on 4,229 farms.
  • Agriculture is the number one industry in Pennsylvania, generating a $50 billion impact on our state economy and providing one of every seven jobs.
  • If enough farmland in an area is converted to non-farm use, the farming communities lose the critical mass necessary to keep local farm-related businesses and hence the whole farm economy alive. Between 1982 and 2007, America lost 23,163,500 acres of farmland to development.