Pennsylvania is being recognized as the first state in the nation to preserve 500,000 acres of prime farmland.
Governor Tom Corbett celebrated the milestone during a ceremony ay Flinchbaugh's Orchard and Farm Market in Hellam, York County. The state's Farmland Preservation Program has invested nearly $1.3 billion to keep more than 500,000 acres on 4,704 farms in 57 counties in Pennsylvania.
Farming is the state's top industry, but the governor says there's more to it than just economic gain.
"It's extremely valuable in the culture too. All you have to do is drive the roads, and get off the highways and get on the secondary roads and see the beauty of Pennsylvania of our woods, but of our farms also. Just a greater appreciation for how wonderful the state of Pennsylvania really is," Corbett said.
He says farming is a $4 billion industry in Pennsylvania. The preservation program has invested in PA farmland for future agricultural production since 1988.