For Immediate Release: May 11, 2012
Group Rallies to Save Pennsylvania Farms
(Lancaster, PA) Conservation groups concerned about the Governor’s proposed budget cuts to farmland preservation have pulled together to form the Coalition to Save Farms. Members of the group include Lancaster Farmland Trust, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, American Farmland Trust, Renew Growing Greener Coalition, Pennsylvania Association of Land Trusts, Brandywine Conservancy, and the Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Association.
Pennsylvania’s award winning farmland preservation program is funded through a dedicated tax on the sale of cigarettes. The Governor wants to permanently redirect this funding to the general fund. With no source of funds to replace the cigarette tax, the program will not survive. For more than 20 years, the Commonwealth has made an investment in protecting the land that grows our food, supports our economy, and provides jobs for our citizens.
As a result of this commitment from the state, county, and private individuals, Lancaster County leads the nation in farmland preservation with 92,000 acres of the most productive farmland in the country protected for future generations. “The Governor’s plan to transfer the cigarette tax revenue to the general fund is short sited,” said Karen Martynick, Executive Director of Lancaster Farmland
Trust. “Farmland preservation is a long-term investment in our state and county’s economic well-being that must not be traded to balance the budget for the short term.”
The Coalition to Save Farms provides a way for conservation groups to work together to save Pennsylvania’s farms, the agricultural economy and our treasured heritage. “Lancaster County and Pennsylvania need your support for farmland preservation and your help in letting legislators know how important this issue is to our economic well-being and cultural heritage,” Martynick continued. “Please join the Coalition to Save Farms and protect our farms today before it is too late.” For more information, please contact Karen Martynick at [email protected].