WEST CHESTER (January 5, 2022) – More than 150 acres of farmland in Cochranville and Oxford will be preserved thanks to state and county investments in agricultural land preservation, state Senator Carolyn Comitta said today.
“Local farms are already partners in preserving our agricultural heritage, supporting our economy, and helping ensure access to fresh and nutritious food,” said Comitta, who serves on the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. “With these investments, they’re also partners in conserving the open spaces and scenic rural areas that continue to define Chester County.”
The farms, which are being preserved through investments from the Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Program, are as follows:
- The Larry W. And John D. Althouse Farm, a 53-acre livestock farm in Cochranville, received $174,690 from the state program.
- The David K. and Katie F. King Farm, a 55-acre dairy farm in Oxford, received $14,500 from the state program and $204,350 from the county program.
- The Stewart Ramsey and Wendy Komnik Farm, a 28-acre equine farm in Cochranville, received $6,520 from the state program and $136,517 from the county program.
- The Peter L. Temple Farm, a 15-acre crop farm in Cochranville, received $4,000 from the state program and $61,700 from the county program.
Those farms, along with the David and Phoebe McElhenny Farm, an 18-acre crop and livestock farm in Honeybrook, received $202,425 in total state and $511,556 in total Chester County farmland preservation funding. The farmland comes as part of 2,569 acres on 30 farms across Pennsylvania protected from future development with more than $7.2 million in state, county and township dollars.
Last year, the Commonwealth approved 166 conservation easements covering 14,397 acres that will permanently remain productive farms.
Pennsylvania leads the nation in both the number of farms and acres permanently preserved for agricultural production. The Farmland Preservation Program, also known as the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program, was developed to strengthen Pennsylvania’s agricultural economy and protect prime farmland. This program enables state and county governments to purchase conservation easements from farmers.
Since 1988, the program has purchased permanent conservation easements on 5,979 Pennsylvania farms, covering 606,215 acres in 58 counties, and ensuring they will remain farms in the future.