30,000 acres by 2030
The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners enacted Resolution 2019-30 setting forth a policy goal of preservation of 30,000 acres of working farmland by the year 2030. This resolution acknowledges the importance of the agricultural industry, strong public support for farmland preservation and the need to establish a long term budgetary policy for the program.
Why is preserving farmland important?
Preserving farmland in Cumberland County is important because of economic, environmental, and food security, benefits. Each acre of prime soil preserved has an economic contribution of more than $14,413 and costs an average of $3,600 to preserve.
How can I help?
The Cumberland County Farmland Preservation Program accepts cash gifts as well as donated agricultural easements. Cash and easement gifts are considered charitable contributions and tax deductible as provided by state and federal law.
100% of cash donations go to the preservation of prime farmland in Cumberland County. No funds are used for administrative purposes and donations will be matched by state and federal grant funds.
What is the agricultural conservation easement program?
The Agricultural Conservation Easement (ACE) Program strengthens Pennsylvania’s agricultural economy by protecting prime farmland. The program incorporates the use of county, state, federal and local funds to purchase agricultural conservation easements on prime agricultural land from willing landowners.
How does the program work?
ACE works by paying Cumberland County farmers to place certain restrictions upon the land to maintain and permanently preserve high quality, functional farmland. The land continues to be the farmer’s private property and they retain all privileges of land ownership, except the ability to sell the land for non-agricultural development or to develop the land for non-agricultural purposes.
An agricultural conservation easement is permanent; therefore, if a landowner wishes to sell the land, the easement is transferred and the new landowner must continue to use the property exclusively for agriculture.