Farms in Lehigh Valley and Central Pa. are among 30 new entities preserved by state

Farms in the Lehigh Valley and the Central Pa. region are among those in 18 counties preserved by the state from future development today, investing more than $7.2 million in state, county and township dollars.

“Preserving farmland is an investment in feeding all of our families in the future,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “It is one of the most important investments we make together, at every level of government, to ensure the security of our economy, our jobs, our communities and our environment.”

This year, Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program, which leads the nation, approved 166 conservation easements covering 14,397 acres that will permanently remain productive farms. Today’s addition added 2,569 acres on 30 farms.

Among the farms preserved are:

Berks County  Total investment $160,420 state; $60,000 county

The Jesse R. and Jessica M. Alspaugh farm, an 80-acre crop and livestock operation

Dauphin County – Total investment $380,850 state only

The Shirley L. Weaver Farm, a 254-acre crop and livestock farm

Franklin County – Total investment $5,302 state; $113,110 county

The Jere D. Hissong, Sr. Farm, a 53-acre crop farm


Lebanon County – Total investment $554,820 state; $139,836 county

The Pauline E. Grumbine Farm, a 174-acre crop farm

The Bruce R. and Laura M. Heilinger #2 Farm, a 100-acre crop and livestock farm

Lehigh County – Total investment $285,489 state, $1,160,413 county, $7366 Weisenberg Township

The Wyatt Jonas and Leah Ellen Gehringer Farm, a 37-acre crop farm

The Michael G. Wachter Farm, a 49-acre crop farm

The Nancy A. Walbert Farm, a 78-acre crop farm

The Arlene R., James D., Mark A., Kevin L. and Lisa L. Yoachim Farm, an 80-acre crop and livestock farm

Northampton County – Total investment $484,177 state only

The Arlene Savakus Farm, a 98-acre crop farm

York County – Total investment $616,147 state only

The Thomas and Heidi A. Beck Farm, a 203-acre crop farm

By selling their land’s development value, landowners preserve their farms, protecting the land from future residential, commercial or industrial development. Pennsylvania partners with county and sometimes local governments to purchase the development value, ensuring a strong future for farming and food security, the Department of Agriculture said.