Greene County Farmland Preservation District 22 West High Street, Suite 204, Waynesburg, PA 15370
Phone: 724-852-5278 • Fax: 724-852-5341 • www.co.greene.pa.us/gccd
News Release Contact: JoAnne Marshall Communications Director 724-852-5210
County of Greene, Pennsylvania
Agricultural Easement Program accepting applications FOR RELEASE March 2, 2015
WAYNESBURG, PA The Greene County Farmland Preservation Board of Directors (GCFLP) is accepting applications until December 31, 2017 from landowners that are willing to be considered for the agricultural conservation easement program.
The agricultural conservation easement can permanently protect a family’s farmland from being lost to future non-agricultural development. It may be used as an estate planning tool to help landowners successfully pass farms on to the next generation. Or landowners may receive cash for some of the equity tied up in their land for expansion or improving farm operation, debt repayment or retirement while retaining ownership of their land.
The easement is an interest in land, which represents the right to prevent development or improvement of a parcel for any purpose other than agricultural production. The easement may be granted by a farmland owner to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a county agricultural land preservation program, a local government unit or a local land trust.
Easements may be sold or donated with the restrictions recorded in the recorder of deeds office in the county where the easement is located.
For eligibility, a landowner must: be enrolled in an approved agricultural security area consisting of at least 500 acres; have at least 50 contiguous acres; have at least 50% of the soils on the parcel under consideration in soil capability classes I to IV, as defined by the web Soil Survey; be available for agricultural production; and contain the greater of 50% or ten acres of harvested cropland, pasture or grazing land. The landowner will also need to provide ownership verification to the surface mineral rights on the parcel being considered.
After ranking according to the GCFLP bylaws, the highest ranked farm will pay a $2,000 good faith deposit, which will be returned when the easement process in completed.
Currently in Greene County, there are eight townships with approved agricultural security areas: Center, Cumberland, Franklins, Greene, Jefferson, Morgan, Washington and Wayne.
To apply or for more information on the Agricultural Easement Program, call the Greene County Farmland Preservation Board at 724-852-5278 or visit www.co.greene.pa.us/gccd under Conservation District Agricultural programs.