153-Acre Halifax Township Farm Protected from Development Under Dauphin County Farmland Preservation Program

Sweigard Easement

A 153-acre farm in Halifax Township was protected from future development by the Dauphin County Commissioners through the county’s Farmland Preservation Program.

Under the program, farm owner Michael Sweigard sold a conservation easement for $36,001.

Dauphin County has preserved 18,825 acres on 195 farms under the Farmland Preservation Program.

“This is an incredibly important program in preserving the diversity of Dauphin County. We have Harrisburg, the Capitol, Hersheypark – but there is another side of this county,” Commissioner Chad Saylor said.

The first easement purchase was an Upper Paxton Township farm in 1991.

“This program allows us to maintain and preserve a tremendous asset,” Commissioner Chair Mike Pries said. “Once you lose land to development, it is gone forever.”

The Sweigards had an application in for the program since 1999. It is the second farm owned by Sweigard to be preserved.

“We are very happy to be involved in this program,” Sweigard said at a Nov. 17 commissioners’ meeting.

Sweigard accepted 76 percent of the full easement value.

“Dauphin County’s number one industry is agriculture,” Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III said. “You can find it all here – rural, urban, suburban – and that is what makes us so unique.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett Hambright, Press Secretary, 717-780-6311; bhambright@dauphinc.org.