HARRISBURG – The PA Senate unanimously approved a bill that would boost PA’s farmland preservation efforts by allowing land trusts to be eligible for the program. Senate Bill 881 directs a portion of existing farmland preservation funding to private land trusts – groups that take stewardship over a property with permission of the landowner. It would require land trusts to provide matching funds in order to generate new private funding for the program. Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of farms and acres permanently preserved for agricultural production. To date, 552,702 acres have been preserved on 5,329 farms statewide. Bill sponsor, Lancaster County Sen. Scott Martin said his effort to bolster the program has broad support from preservation groups across the state. The bill now goes to the state House for consideration.

SEN. SCOTT MARTIN