Agricultural Land Preservation Program

Agricultural Land Preservation Program

118 Pleasant Acres Road Suite F
York, Pennsylvania 17402
717-840-7400

Mission Statement: “It shall be the mission of the York County Agricultural Land Preservation Board to protect York County’s agricultural resources through the preservation of economically viable farms with the creation and maintenance of stable agricultural communities.”

Welcome to the online home of the York County Agricultural Land Preservation Board. It is our goal to protect York County’s agricultural resources through the strategic preservation of economically viable farms.

The first York County Agricultural Land Preservation Board was appointed by the York County Commissioners in 1990. Since then, the program has preserved more than 40,740.09 acres and 270 farms (4 donations), ranking it among the most proficient in the nation. The participation of local farmers in programs like ours helps ensure the continuation of York County’s vibrant and viable agricultural community.

The goal of this website is to provide you the details needed to decide if agricultural land preservation is right for you and your family. Should you decide to participate with the York County Agriculural Conservation Easement Program, please consult with your legal and tax counselors to understand the restrictions that would be placed on your farm deed as well as the tax implications of easement income.

During 2011, the York County Agricultural Land Preservation Board made changes to the Conservation Easement Program as part of the required seven-year review and recertification process. Revisions were made to the eligibility criteria for application to the program, as well as, the ranking system.

The revisions now allow for the continuous application sign-up. Resubmission of the easement application is necessary only when a change has occurred to the farm acreage, land use, ownership, or farm operator. Your application must be updated each year for annual gross farm income and crop production to maintain eligibility.

With continuous sign-up, applications may be received throughout the year, and once deemed complete, will be reviewed for eligibility and ranking. Applicants will receive results within 120 days of submitting a complete application.

Farmland ranking scores can be found posted in the Ag Land Preservation Board Program Office. Farms will be selected for appraisal for easement purchase based upon score and availability of easement funds throughout the year. Please note a current cap of $4,500 per acre applies to all easement offers. It is a landowner’s responsibility to provide clear title prior to preservation. Please discuss your desire to preserve your farm with your lenders before applying. Your lender must agree with your desire to preserve your farm.

If you have any questions about this information, please do not hesitate to contact our office. Landowners are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to discuss the easement program, prior to submitting an easement application. Thank you again for visiting our website about this vital program to protect one of York County’s most valuable resources, our productive farmlands and agricultural heritage.

Learn more about agriculture in York County with this Agricultural Facts PDF.