October 4, 2023

More than 570 farms totaling over 44,000 acres are preserved in Chester County through the County’s ag conservation easement programs. Ryerss Farm in Warwick Township, pictured here, is one of those farms. (Photo provided by Chester County)

WEST CHESTER – The Chester County Agricultural Land Preservation Board is accepting applications for two competitive programs funded by the Chester County Commissioners, the Commonwealth/County Program, and the Chester County Challenge Grant Program.

To date over 570 farms totaling more than 44,000 acres have been preserved in Chester County through these programs.

Both agricultural land preservation programs offer funds to qualifying Chester County farm owners who are interested in preserving their farm. The County pays farm owners for their development rights in exchange for a permanent agricultural conservation easement on their land.  The owner still owns the land and can sell it or pass it on to the next generation as long as it remains in agriculture.

Farms with 10-acres or more of tillable land are eligible for both programs if they are adjacent to other permanently preserved land.  For farms not adjacent to permanently preserved land, the acreage minimums are 35-acres for the Commonwealth/County Program and 25-acres for the Challenge Grant Program.

The deadline to apply for both programs is the first Friday in August – this year, Friday, August 4, 2023.

For more information, including applications and program guidelines, visit www.chesco.org/4618/Farmland-Preservation, call Geoff Shellington, Chester County Agricultural Programs Coordinator at 610-344-6504 or email gshellington@chesco.org.

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