Montgomery County has added another farm to its growing list of farms permanently preserved under the Montgomery County Farmland Preservation Program. The first farm to be preserved from the 2017 round of applications, a 30-acre hay farm located in Lower Salford Township, belongs to Donald F. Hemsley.
The Hemsley Farm, which would not qualify for state funding due to its size, was able to be preserved because of increased county funding for farm preservation. The farm was preserved with funds from the $1 million dedicated to preservation by the Montgomery County Commissioners and a contribution of $77,316 from Lower Salford Township. There will be six more farms preserved from the 2017 round because of the additional funding provided from the county, according to a submitted press release.
“We are very pleased to be able to use our additional farmland funding and to partner with Lower Salford Township to preserve this 30-acre farm,” said Dr. Val Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “The county recognizes its farming heritage and supports our local farming businesses, which provide healthy, local foods and conserve our prime agricultural soil.”
The preservation of this farm helps to implement the future land use vision in Montgomery County’s comprehensive plan, Montco 2040: A Shared Vision. The county’s farmland preservation program, which began in 1990, has preserved 162 farms totaling over 9,400 acres in the county. Farming has not only played a significant role in Montgomery County’s history, it is also integral to the county’s sustainable future. The preservation of farmland and farming is important for the economy, environment, and local food availability in the county.
Visit http://www.montcopa.org/FarmlandProgram for more information on the program, the county’s local food initiative, and a list of 2018 farmer’s markets in the county.