CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. — The Cumberland County Commissioners, Farmland Preservation Officials and Silver Spring Township Board of Supervisors on Thursday marked the preservation of two new farms in Silver Spring Township.
The addition of two new crop farms to the preserved list raises the total number of farms preserved in the county since 1989 to 201.
The two crop farms, owned by Tom Moyer, are 187 total acres.
The easements are being acquired in partnership with Silver Spring Township, Cumberland County, and the state.
Since 2014, the Silver Spring Land Preservation Program has preserved 685 acres in the township, county officials said.
The county and Silver Spring Township have worked together on several farm properties to have them preserved. This cooperation has stretched both county and township dollars while obtaining state matching funds used for conservation easements.
“Since 1989, the county has preserved 201 farms covering 22,120 acres,” said Vince DiFilippo, Cumberland County Commissioner. “Farmland preservation provides our residents with economic, scenic and environmental benefits.”
The preservation of Cumberland County’s best working farmland benefits the agricultural community by securing the land base required to sustain agriculture operations and produce food, county officials said.
In today’s marketplace, large parcels of farmland are needed to create a long-term business environment for farm operations.
The county ranks seventh in the state for preserving farmland, produces more than 220 million in agricultural products; 75 million of which is milk.
Farmland preservation protects farms in perpetuity and provides residents with locally sourced fresh produce.
Cumberland County has 1,260 farms covering 170,000 acres.
This year, Cumberland County selected 1,050 additional acres of farmland; that land is scheduled for preservation in 2023.
Farms enrolled in the farmland preservation program are managed by private landowners using sound soil and water conservation practices that protect soil from erosion and protect local surface waters from contamination.
Open farmlands are important for the recharge of ground water in our communities and provide habitat for local wildlife populations.