Conservation District Newsletter - Winter/Spring 2021
     By Patty McCandless, Director

     The York County Agricultural Land Preservation Board weathered the Covid -19 Pandemic and survived to tell the story.   As the County Board continued to meet virtually and with staff holding down the fort and working remotely throughout 2020, we were able to continue qualifying and ranking the 64 applications received.   The County Board then selected 16 farms, from the 50 qualified applications, for appraisal to determine the Conservation Easement Value.  Recall a $ 3000 per acre cap was put into place in 2019.  All 16 farms accepted the County Board’s offer for preservation.   As we begin 2021, you are reminded we will not have a 2021 Application Round.   Rather the Board will select farms for easement purchase every 24 months.  Using the list of 50 applications that were ranked in 2020, we will begin to appraise the next group of 2020 easement applications once York County and Commonwealth of PA funds are approved for  farmland preservation.   Funding is key to the amount of acreage we may preserve each year.   During 2019, we funded 2 farms with 499 acres preserved, while in 2020, we funded 16 farms with 1,507 acres.  This is possible due to the annually dedicated funds now reserved for agricultural and open space land preservation each year by the York County Board of Commissioners in 2019 - 2020.  No taxes were increased for this dedicated funding.   Thank You County Commissioners!!

     The important Take Away Reminders are (1) the County Board will continue in 2021 to process farms from the existing ranked list of 2020, and (2) we will continue to Accept & Review Preliminary Applications from interested landowners.   Landowners may begin submitting preliminary applications at this time.  Preliminary Applications will begin the next pool the Board will begin to Qualify and Rank during the Winter 2022 Application Round.  Put the date of February 15, 2022 on your calendar as that is our next deadline for the 2022 Application Round.  Call us at (717) 840-7400, or, visit us at for more farmland preservation program information.   Staff will meet with you by appointment only and we will observe all CDC Guidelines for Covid 19 Precautions.

     Program funds should be known by March 2021. Landowner’s who applied in 2020, will begin receiving calls in March 2021 by the Ag Land Preservation Staff to discuss their application, the appraisal and preservation process.   Landowner’s who have not been contacted for appraisal will be contacted in April and May to update their application in preparation for the February 15, 2022 Application Round.  Interested landowners may always apply for preservation at any time.    

     The County Board and staff welcome new employee, Marty Druck, as our Farmland Preservation Monitor in September of 2020.  Marty graduated from Eastern York High School and Electronics Institute in Middletown, PA.  He grew up on a small farm where many of the operations were achieved by pulling resources and labor with other farm families.  He worked on numerous York and Lancaster County farms, learning how to back wagons with a John Deere G and chisel ground using a Steiger  Panther.  Marty married his high school sweetheart, Julie, almost 30 years ago and together they have raised 3 sons.  Marty and Julie have enjoyed helping to lead worship services at Elmcroft Senior Living and volunteering  at Pleasant Acres Nursing Center.  Marty’s previous employment was with Red Lion Controls where he worked as a  Technical Support Specialist, Electronic Repair Technician, Product Engineer, and lastly as a Manufacturing Engineer.  Marty will become our primary farmland preservation monitor and work to protect our farmland preservation records.    

     Please consider visiting our website,   to follow our News, Links, Farmland Preservation Information and County Map of preserved lands.   Thank you York County for your ongoing support of York County’s farmland preservation efforts to protect our working lands.

2020 Results