WAYNESBURG, PA – The Greene County Farmland Preservation Board is now accepting applications until June 1, 2022 from qualifying landowners for the agricultural conservation easement program. Are you wanting to improve your farm? Are you looking to ensure your property is farmed for future generations? Have you have thought about enrolling in Farmland Preservation and selling an easement for help with projects on your farm as well as ensuring future farming?
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
• contain the greater of 50% or at least 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.
Currently in Greene County, there are eight townships with approved agricultural security areas: Center, Cumberland, Franklin, Greene, Jefferson, Morgan, Washington and Wayne. If your land is in one of these townships, you may be eligible for Farmland
Preservation – even if you are not yet in the Agricultural Security program. If you are not, but you are interested in Agricultural Security Areas or Farmland Preservation, please call us to find out more information about beginning an Agricultural Security Area in your township!