Preserved Land in Centre County, 2023
Pennsylvania leads the nation in preserved farmland, with 624,277 acres and 6,202 farms preserved. Since 1989, the state government, 58 counties, numerous municipalities, and the federal government have invested more than $1.6 billion in our agriculture industry's ability to feed our families and our economy.
Why Preserve and Protect Prime Farmland?
Because we're losing prime farmland to other land uses.
The U.S.D.A. Census of Agriculture found that, between 2012 and 2017, the total number of farms in the United States declined by 3 percent, with mostly mid-size farms being lost, while the number of very small and very large farms increased. Pennsylvania lost 10 percent of its total farms, with an increase in only very large farms and all other farm sizes declining in number. The number of farm acres in Pennsylvania declined by 6 percent during this period, while the number of farms with an average of 137 acres increased by 5 percent.
Source: The Economic Impact of Agriculture in Pennsylvania, 2021 Update
Because our farmers feed us.
Because agricultural operations provide significant environmental, economic, cultural and aesthetic benefits to our community and beyond.
Agriculture is our heritage and our future
Centre County has a rich agricultural history as the home of The Pennsylvania State University. Established in 1855 as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania and renamed the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania in 1862, Penn State has trained generations of farmers to sustain central Pennsylvania as an agricultural region.
Preserved farms are farmland forever
Of the 59,000 farms in Pennsylvania, 1,023 are located in Centre County.
There are farms in Centre County where families have been working their land for more than 200 years. Most want to continue farming and don’t want to see their land lost to development. Farmers who preserve their farmland are safeguarding it from development forever. They’re protecting it for their descendants as well as honoring the legacy of their ancestors, and building their own legacy as stewards of their land.
Centre County Preserved Farms
Since 1991, the Centre County Agricultural Land Preservation Board has approved 64 agricultural conservation easements and preserved 9,410 acres of farmland.
For more information about farmland preservation, please contact Elizabeth Melville, Centre County Ag Land Preservation Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (814) 355-6791.
Tools and References
Guides to Preserving Farmland in Centre County
- Why Preserve Farmland?
- WeConservePA Guide: Why Preserve Farmland?
- WeConservePA Guide: Farmland Preservation Options for Landowners
Government and Private Approaches to Conservation Easements in Pennsylvania
- Which Path to Preserving Farmland is Best for You?
Two programs differ in many ways
- Understanding Agricultural Preservation in Pennsylvania
- Why Donate Development Rights to Woodland?
- Centre County Preserved Land Map
- PACE Program
- PACE Questions and Answers
- PACE Program Guide
A guide to preserving farmland in Centre County through the Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement (PACE) program
- Guide to Preserving Centre County Farmland Forever
Presentation to the Ag Forum of Centre County_09.08.21
- Agricultural Land Preservation Board
Supporting Centre County Farmers Now and in the Future
- Agricultural Security Areas (ASA)
- Respect for Farmland
- Municipal Partnership Program
- Municipal Partners Help Leverage Farmland Preservation Funds
Educational Resources for Farmers
- Farm Transition Planning
- PA Farm Link Academy
Eight free learning modules available, including Farm Link Resources (in English and in Spanish), Penn State Center for Agricultural and Shale Law, U.S.D.A., Small Business Development Corporation, Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and Penn State Extension
- PA Farm Link: Long-Term Leasing on Farmland
Case Studies and Lease Agreement Examples
- PA Farm Link Farm Succession Checklist
- Guide to Solar Options on Your Preserved Farm
- Commercial Solar Leases
- Clean and Green
- Stewarding Healthy Soils
- Managing Forests as Climate Solution
Tours of Centre County Farms
- A Visual Tour of Farms Preserved through Centre County's PACE Program
- An Agricultural History and Visual Tour of Penns Valley and Brush Valley farms featuring some of Centre County's preserved farms
This agricultural history and visual tour of Penns Valley and Brush Valley farms was funded by Verizon Wireless to fulfill Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) stipulations to mitigate adverse effects from a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wireless telecommunications facility in Centre County.
Pennsylvania Agriculture at a Glance
- 2020 Centre County Planning Opportunities: Agriculture
- The Economic Impact of Agriculture in Pennsylvania: 2021 Update
- 2022 Pennsylvania Agriculture Power 100, a guide to Pennsylvania's agricultural policy leaders