Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is receiving praise from farm groups across the state for his commitment to preserving farmland and protecting the agricultural sector from urban and suburban development.
Over the past several decades, as the rural population has shrunk, farmers and ranchers have found themselves increasingly under pressure from urban and suburban development. As cities and communities grow, their need for more land has gradually begun chipping away at farms across the country, most of which are situated in prime real estate.
In order to combat this, many states have pushed for farmland preservation laws that would allow farmers to sell easements to their land that would give farmers the ability to retire while simultaneously mandating that sold land must be used for agricultural production in perpetuity.
Members of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau are praising Governor Corbett’s decision to increase funding for the farmland preservation fund by about $35 million a year. “In the long term, what it does is it makes sure that land remains in farming and that not only benefits farmers but commonwealth residents as well,” said the president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. “When you talk about what farmers require in terms of infrastructure and other services within a community, it’s very low per dollar compared to what putting in a new housing development does.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer