Agricultural Land Preservation Program

Welcome to the York County Agricultural Land Preservation Board Website!  Our goal is to protect York County's agricultural resources through strategic preservation of economically viable farms.

Preserving York County's Agricultural Resources

Mission Statement: "It shall be the mission of the York County Agricultural Land Preservation Board to protect York County's agricultural resources through the preservation of economically viable farms with the creation and maintenance of stable agricultural communities."

The first York County Agricultural Land Preservation Board was appointed by the York County Commissioners in 1990. Since then, the program has preserved more than 47,466 acres and 330 farms (five donations), ranking it among the most proficient in the nation. The participation of local farmers in programs like ours helps ensure the continuation of York County's vibrant and viable agricultural community.

The County of York has a great resource available for you to visualize and search for properties enrolled in Agricultural Security Areas and Agricultural Land Preservation.  The Agricultural Land Viewer is an interactive mapping application that is available for you to use.

The goal of this website is to provide you the details needed to decide if agricultural land preservation is right for you and your family. Should you decide to participate with the York County Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, please consult with your legal and tax counselors to understand the restrictions that would be placed on your farm deed as well as the tax implications of easement income.

During 2018, the York County Agricultural Land Preservation Board made changes to the Conservation Easement Program as part of the required seven-year review and recertification process. Revisions were made to the eligibility criteria for application to the program, as well as, the ranking system. In 2019, additional changes were made by the Board regarding the application process and setting a $3,000 cap per acre for easement purchases.

Our office is in currently processing the 2022 applicants.  The next deadline for application is February 15th, 2024. The previous continuous application cycle has been replaced with a two year application cycle. Applications are qualified and ranked every 24 months. Easement boundaries are determined by the landowner, with 2 boundary edits allowed prior to the application deadline. These changes must be finalized no later than the February 15th deadline. Exclusions are permitted but will be reviewed by the County Board.

Farmland ranking scores can be found posted in the Ag Land Preservation Board Program Office. Farms will be selected for appraisal for easement purchase based upon score and availability of easement funds throughout the 24 month application cycle. Please note a current cap of $3,000 per acre applies to all easement offers. It is a landowner's responsibility to provide clear title prior to preservation. Please discuss your desire to preserve your farm with your lenders before applying. Your lender must agree with your desire to preserve your farm.

If you have any questions about this information, please do not hesitate to contact our office. Landowners are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to discuss the easement program, prior to submitting an easement application. Thank you again for visiting our website about this vital program to protect one of York County's most valuable resources, our productive farmlands and agricultural heritage.

Monthly Board Meetings

  • 3rd Tuesday of every month at 7pm
  • 2401 Pleasant Valley Road
    Suite 101, Board Meeting Room 151
    York PA 17402

View the Tuesday, November 21st, 2023 Agenda

Meetings require a board quorum - call ahead to confirm the meeting will be held at 717-840-7400.