The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Program was developed to strengthen Pennsylvania’s agricultural economy and protect its prime farmland. This program enables state and county governments to purchase conservation easements from farmers wishing to protect their farms.
Butler County has carried out an easement purchase program since it was first approved by the state in 994. Currently, there are 57 farms enrolled in Butler County’s program totaling 6,184 acres (as of July 2019) of good, productive farm land. This has returned nearly $20 million dollars to the participating owners that have made the long-term commitment to preserving their farms! In turn, this has helped assure that Butler County’s vibrant and economically important agricultural industry will continue to flourish for generations to come.
Source of article: Butler County Office of Farmland Preservation.
To find out if your farm qualifies, please check the Minimum Eligibility Criteria Sheet below and be sure to visit www.co.butler.pa.us under “Farmland Preservation” for more information. Minimum Elgibilty Criteria
Applications can be found at the office or can be emailed to you to get the process started. Sheryl Kelly is the Farmland Coordinator who takes the application and can answer many questions for you. firstname.lastname@example.org or 724.284.5305
Ag Security Areas:
Protecting agriculture doesn’t always require a conservation easement-it can mean simply securing the right of farmers to farm without dealing with overly burdensome regulations. That’s the role of an Agricultural Security Area (ASA), where agriculture is a primary activity in the municipality. Farmers work with municipalities to develop ASAs, which demonstrate that farming is a local priority and promote more permanent and viable farming operations.
A landowner with at least 10 acres of land or $2,000 in expected sales per year from agricultural products, farming on viable agricultural land that is zoned to permit agricultural uses.
Source: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
Forms are available at our municipal building and the program is updated every seven years.
Please Contact the Township Office for more information on Farmland Preservation or Ag Security. 724.352.9000 or Sheryl Kelly, Farmland Coordinator 724.284.5305