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Farmland Preservation

Farmland Preservation

Farmland Preservation Board Members

For Perry County
William Lyons, Chairman

David Griswold, Vice Chairman

Edward McMillen

Gerald Holman

Garry Raub

V. Art Kling

Perry Conservation District Manager, Gabe Guthrie  
Phone: 717-582-3007 Email: gguthrie@perryco.org

An Agricultural Conservation Easement is a binding agreement between a landowner and the County of Perry, or the County of Perry and The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and/or the United States Department of Agriculture.  This is a permanent restriction on the land which prohibits development of the land, except for agricultural purposes.

Our Perry County Farmland Preservation Program is provided for and administered under the Pennsylvania Agricultural Area Security Law of 1981, Act 43. 

Each County in the Commonwealth that participates in the Farmland Preservation Program must develop its own County Program, therefore rules for a Farmland Preservation Program may vary from county to county.  All county programs, and any changes to them, must be approved by the State Farmland Preservation Board.   

The Perry County Farmland Preservation Board determines the market value, easement value, and the farmland value of the property by retaining independent licensed real estate appraisers.  A farmer who disagrees with the appraisal has the right to retain another independent appraiser.  Differences between the two appraisals are worked out according to a formula in the law to arrive at the purchase value of the easement.  Please note that there have been changes in the eligibility rules used by the Board to evaluate eligibility of candidate tracts.

Easements may be obtained through purchase or through donation. Any money gained through purchase is reported to the IRS by the closing agent. If all or part of an easement is obtained through donation, the donated value may be eligible as a charitable contribution on the Federal Income Tax Return.  Anyone wishing to explore this aspect of the program should contact their Attorney and Accountant for how this may benefit them on their Federal Income Tax Return. 

When an Easement is placed on a farm, the grantor of the Easement retains ownership of the land but is restricted in the use of it to the terms of the Easement.  Future owners of the land are also bound by the terms of the Easement, ensuring that the land will be protected forever.

As of December 2022, 10,076.3 Acres of farmland have been preserved through the Perry County Farmland Preservation Program.  Of these, the development rights to 3,950 Acres have been purchased with County, State, and Federal funds, and the development rights to 2,991.9 Acres of farmland have been donated by its respective owners. 

If you are interested in participating in the Farmland Preservation Program by placing your land in a preservation easement, contact the Perry County Conservation District at 717-582-5119. The Perry Farmland Preservation Program Manual details the Perry Farmland Preservation Program, including most recent updates approved by the State Farmland Preservation Board December 11, 2008.


You can download an Easement Application Form in PDF format here

More information is available at the Pennsylvania Bureau of Farmland Preservation.