Farmland Preservation

Farmland Preservation

Through the Agricultural Land Preservation Program, the district works with local farmers, the Lebanon County Commissioners, and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Farmland Preservation, to help preserve farmland in Lebanon County.

By voluntarily selling or donating agricultural conservation easements, the landowner prevents development of the land for purposes other than agricultural production, while retaining ownership.

Landowners who prefer a non-profit approach to preserving agricultural lands should contact the Lebanon Valley Conservancy, Inc.

Benefits of Farmland Preservation

  • Protects land for future farm generations.
  • Maintains agriculture, which employs 2 out of every 5 people in Lebanon County.
  • Ensures farming is more affordable for future generations.
  • Assures that land is available to produce our food supply.
  • Keeps demand for public services lower, and taxes needed to support these services lower.
  • Encourages soil and water conservation.
  • Preserves farm culture.
  • Retains open space, aesthetics and quality of life.
  • Qualifies eligible farms for potential tax incentive. Please check with your accountant.

Requirements for Lebanon County Ag. Preservation Program

The farmland tract must:

  1. Be located in your municipality’s Agricultural Security Area.
  2. Contain at least 50% of soils which are available for agricultural production and are of capability classes I-IV.
  3. Contain 50% harvested crop land, pasture lands or grazing lands.
  4. Be at least 50 contiguous acres in size unless a minimum of 10 acres is of a unique crop or adjoining an attached perpetual agricultural conservation easement.


Farmland Preservation Facts

Total Number of Easements: 150

Total Acres of Farmland Preserved: 17,066.54 acres

Data by Municipality

Data current as of February 1, 2014

Municipality ACE* Acreage
Bethel 9 1305.29
Cleona 1 77.27
Cornwall 3 228.28
East Hanover 2 187.92
Heidelberg 11 928.72
Jackson 12 1052.07
Millcreek 11 1454.67
North Annville 8 1218.84
North Cornwall 9 1120.28
North Lebanon 12 1226.72
North Londonderry 1 179.19
Richland 0 6.00
South Annville 31 3213.80
South Lebanon 23 2330.90
South Londonderry 11 1165.79
Swatara 3 635.64
Union 0 3.00
West Cornwall 3 676.19
Out of County 0 55.81

Note: Some farms cross municipal boundaries. Where this happens the easement is only counted once in the municipality with the most acreage.
*ACE = Agricultural Conservation Easement


Angie Foltz or Charles Wertz
717-272-3908 ext. 4