Montgomery County Farmland Preservation
The Montgomery County Agricultural Land Preservation Program, also known as the farmland preservation program, purchases agricultural easements on productive farms in Montgomery County. When the easement is sold, the owner keeps the land but no longer has the right to build non-agricultural buildings. The land must remain in farming in perpetuity. The farmer may sell the land, but the new owner must continue to grow productive crops or pasture on it. Applying to the program is voluntary. For information on the program, contact Steve Zbyszinski at 610-278-5960.
Program StatusAs of March 2020, there are 172 farms preserved in Montgomery County under the Montgomery County Agricultural Land Preservation Program. These farms total 9,946 acres. In Pennsylvania, there are 5,675 preserved farms in 59 participating counties; 579,940 acres total.
The Farmland Preservation Program provides the Planning Commission with an annual summary of its efforts and activities to support agriculture in Montgomery County. This link is to an ESRI story map illustrating the farms preserved in 2018, examples of supportive publications and photos from events held.
FundingFunding for the program comes from both the county and state, and sometimes, the municipality. The Montgomery County Commissioners may allocate money each year to preserve farms in Montgomery County. The remainder of the funding comes from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through cigarette taxes, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, and other sources. A township or borough may contribute money to preserve a farm within its own boundaries.
MCPC held two AgBrewCulture events in 2018 to connect farmers with the county's growing brewing industry. These events were funded by a grant through the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
- PBS39 Interview - Montgomery County Brewers and Farmers Working Together
2017 Keep farming Conference
Over 100 people attended Keep Farming in Montgomery County: A Conference Focusing on Sustaining Farming for the Future, which took place on February 10, 2017 in Franconia Township. Sponsored by Montgomery County in conjunction with active cosponsors, this was the fifth farming conference to be offered by the county. The conference, another step in helping to preserve farmland and the farming industry, focused on major topics of interest to farmers including funding sources for on-farm improvements, emerging sectors of the marketplace, soil health, diversifying farm products, and transitioning farms to the next generation.