Montgomery County Farmland Preservation

Program Overview

The Montgomery County Agricultural Land Preservation Program, also known as the farmland preservation program, purchases agricultural easements on productive farms in Montgomery County. When the easement is sold, the owner keeps the land but it must remain in farming in perpetuity. The farmer may sell the land in the future, but the new owner must continue farming. Applying to the program is voluntary. For information on preserving a farm, contact Stephen Zbyszinski at 610-278-5960.

Program Status

As of January 2023, there are 186 farms preserved in Montgomery County under the Montgomery County Agricultural Land Preservation Program. These farms total 10,487 acres. In Pennsylvania, there are 5,813 preserved farms in 59 participating counties; 591,819 acres total.

2022 Annual Program Summary

The farmland preservation program provides the planning commission with an annual summary of its efforts and activities to support agriculture in Montgomery County. Part of this process is the development of an ESRI story map illustrating the farms preserved in 2022, examples of supportive publications, and photos from events held.


Funding for the program comes from both the county and state, and sometimes, the municipality. The Montgomery County Commissioners may allocate money each year to preserve farms in Montgomery County. The remainder of the funding comes from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through cigarette taxes, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, and other sources. A township or borough may contribute money to preserve a farm within its own boundaries. 


2020 Farmland Presentation Program Webinar

This online webinar event, focused on gathering farmer interest and gaining new applicants for permanent agricultural preservation. We offered an opportunity for participants to ask questions and discuss issues regarding farm preservation.


MCPC held two AgBrewCulture events in 2018 to connect farmers with the county's growing brewing industry. These events were funded by a grant through the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

2017 Keep Farming Conference

Over 100 people attended Keep Farming in Montgomery County: A Conference Focusing on Sustaining Farming for the Future, which took place on February 10, 2017 in Franconia Township. Sponsored by Montgomery County in conjunction with active cosponsors, this was the fifth farming conference to be offered by the county. The conference, another step in helping to preserve farmland and the farming industry, focused on major topics of interest to farmers including funding sources for on-farm improvements, emerging sectors of the marketplace, soil health, diversifying farm products, and transitioning farms to the next generation. 


MCPC Farmland Preservation Planner Steve Zbyszinski recently appeared as a guest on the Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Pennsylvania Legacies podcast to talk about the county’s farmland preservation program and why preserving 10,000 acres of land is such an important milestone.

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