Protected farms may soon be able to lease to ag-related businesses

Written by Tim Lambert and Radio Pennsylvania | Jan 7, 2015 3:51 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Alex Katz

(Harrisburg) -- A proposal in the state Senate would let farm owners in Pennsylvania's Clean and Green program lease their land for agricultural enterprises.

Currently, a discrepancy in the rules between the commonwealth's Clean and Green and Farmland Preservation programs is preventing participating farmers from leasing their land for things like a farmer's market or an equipment repair business. 

Democratic Senator Judy Schwank of Berks County wants to plug the loophole.

"It's very important that we give our farmers every opportunity to make their businesses thrive," she says. "There are all kinds of options of businesses that are directly associated with farming that we should be able to provide to people who lease farms."

The measure would amend the Clean and Green program to allow farmers to lease their lands for ag businesses and align it with the Farmland Preservation Program.   

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