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State preserving 248 acres of county farmland

The Shapiro administration announced on Friday morning, June 14, it intends to purchase development rights to a total of 248 acres of farmland in Butler County across two farm properties for preservation. The investment is intended to protect the land from residential and commercial development.

The farms are the Edwards Family Partnership farm, a 78-acre property in Clinton Township, and the farm of Ryan W. and Roxanne M. Graham, a 170-acre property in Center Township.

The investment is part of Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Act, in which state, county and local agencies and nonprofits combine to purchase development rights and conservation easements for potentially valuable farmland to preserve it from being overtaken by development.

A total of $1,285,212 was invested in these two properties, with $925,223 coming from the state, $214,166 coming from Butler County and $145,823 from Clinton Township.

In total, the state intends to purchase 2,629 acres on 28 farms in 19 counties across Pennsylvania, investing about $9.8 million.

The Farmland Preservation Program was first introduced in Pennsylvania in 1988, and since then, 6,392 farms and 639,254 acres in 58 counties have been preserved.

“If your business is farming, that location brings fierce competition from developers willing to pay top dollar for your land,” said state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding in a statement. “Keeping prime farmland from becoming warehouses, housing developments, or parking lots is a critical investment the Shapiro Administration is making in partnership with farm families and county and local governments to feed our families, and our economy, and our future.”

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