Down On The Farm (in PA)

NY League of Conservation Voters (LCV) urges supporters to stand up for family farms – WE AGREE! Have they seen what the Marcellus Shale is doing for farmers in PA?

  • FLASHBACK: “Broome County, all by itself, holds enough natural gas reserves to leverage the creation of 16,000 good-paying jobs, $793 million in wages, and $15.3 billion in total economic output according to a study.” (Evening Sun, 7/31/09)
NYLCV Urges Immediate Action to Save Family Farms from Going Under … … While in PA, the Marcellus Continues to Keep Family Farms in the Hands of Actual Families 
LCV EMAIL TO SUPPORTERS:“You already know that locally grown is good for New York’s environment, economy and public health. It tastes better, too.“But did you know this? A New York farm goes out of business and is lost to development every three and a half days.

“The state’s existing Farmland Protection Program simply cannot keep up with the high demand or intense pressure to develop agricultural lands. A new approach is needed right away, or more farms will be lost for good.

“Over the coming days, lawmakers in Albany will be working on proposals to generate new revenue to save New York’s farms.

“Please join NYLCV in asking the Legislature to protect New York’s agricultural industry and keep high-quality, locally made products on New Yorkers’ tables.” (NYLCV “Act Now” email alert, 4/27/11)

Natural Gas Drilling Leases Saving Farms: ”It let us build a heifer barn” for female cattle that have not produced calves, owner Paul Manning said of a lease covering 147 acres of his North Abington Twp. farm. … Improvements, such as the $240,000 investment in the heifer barn in 2008, would have been unlikely without the gas lease, Mr. Manning said. … The region’s emerging Marcellus Shale natural gas industry…helps provide economic security for some farmers. … “Farmers have said that receiving the lease payments has allowed them to stay on the farm and without that, they would not have been able to survive economically,” said Timothy Kelsey, Ph.D., an agricultural economist at Penn State University.” (Scranton Times-Tribune, 5/10/10

Marcellus Shale Payments Give Hope To Family Farms: As a farmer in Wayne County I am pleased to see the Marcellus Shale gas leases bringing new hope and renewed optimism to many family farms in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The revenue generated by these gas leases allows farm families to make much needed investments in their farming operations. Barns are being repaired and equipment that should have been retired 20 years ago is now being replaced. The ability to make these new investments and the relief from financial stress will insure a future for their farms today and for future generations. The Marcellus Shale gas will be an important part of our energy future. It will improve the environment, improve our agriculture economy and save family farms. (Citizens Voice, 7/5/10)

Marcellus Shale Helping To Keep Family Farms In Tact: Nearly 600 residents attended Wednesday’s day-long DRBC meeting to plead their clashing cases: That drilling is needed not only to produce relatively clean energy but to save economically desperate communities … Landowners like Judy Ahrens of Hanesdale, Pa., argued that they should be able to lease the mineral rights to their land. “It enables those of us who have farms to keep our farms so they can be passed on to our families so they don’t have to be split up and developed,” she said. (Associated Press, 7/15/10)

Pa. Farm Country Radio Host: “Marcellus Shale ‘Crop’ Sustaining Family Farms”: Natural gas is a new crop for farmers in many parts of the state. It is harvested thousands of feet below the topsoil. This new revenue it generates has allowed countless farms to stay in business, repair and upgrade their barns and buy new equipment to plant their crops. The lease revenue has saved many farms from development and allowed farmers to invest in modern no-till equipment to farm in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way – both are good for water quality and the environment. … Marcellus Shale gas is responsible for preserving family farms and supporting our number-one industry: agriculture. It is keeping our farmland in production and saving farms from development. The benefits of Marcellus Shale are many; agriculture should be added to the list, along with much-needed jobs and stimulating our local economy. (Times-Leader, 10/28/10)

Marcellus Shale A Win Win Situation All Around: It will help to maintain open space and keep our forest grounds grounded and our farms farming. The influx of cash is desperately needed in the state of Pennsylvania, and particularly in the depressed areas of Wayne County, said Alliance Executive Director Marian Schweighofter. … “The effect this has had is its given us the ability to make a college fund for our family members. We think it’s a win win situation all around, most definitely for the economic ability of Wayne County,” said Schweighofter. (WNEP-TV, 7/13/10)

Marcellus Shale Development Can Preserve Family Farms: Marcellus Shale development can preserve family farms by creating additional revenue for farmers through gas leases and royalties, [Richard Adams, senior regulatory advisor for Texas-based Chief Oil and Gas] said. (Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 3/25/10)

Lock Haven University Small Business Development Center: With many family farms receiving sizeable [Marcellus royalty] checks, farm life is changing as well. New equipment purchases, a shift in operations and the ability to have disposable income has local retail establishments growing in a down economy. This may mean a third generation dairy farm is now focused on crop production, but at the same time providing an opportunity for a new dairy farm to establish itself. (9/16/10)

Former Pa. Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff:
The Marcellus has served as a ray of hope for many farmers working through tough economic times, battling low milk prices and rising fuel and feed costs.” (Release, 1/13/11)

Bradford Co. County Commissioner Douglas McLinko: Gas Fuels Growth: Marcellus drilling activity has allowed out of work men and women to earn a paycheck and feed their families. While others in the country are idled by unemployment, workers in Bradford County are learning and developing job skills. Trained workers ensure the area is attractive to prospective employers, which will lead to increased job creation and a diversified workforce. The family farm is the soul of Bradford County. … Marcellus Shale development has preserved more farmland than any government program at zero taxpayer expense. Bradford County farmers continue to feed America while meeting its energy demands. (Commonwealth Foundation, 8/3/10)

Pa. Independent Oil & Gas Assoc.: The Marcellus shale has opened opportunities in Pennsylvania that none of us could have envisioned just five short years ago. Farmers have received literally billions of dollars in upfront lease payments to allow development of this resource. (Pa. senate testimony, 1/26/10)

Marcellus Shale Coalition: In addition to the direct economic benefit farmers realize from leasing their land — enabling many to hold on to their family farms, and make investments in newer, more efficient agricultural technologies — the entire farming community will continue to see a positive impact as a result of Marcellus development through more stable fuel prices, lower energy costs, and more affordable fertilizers.” (Release, 1/13/11)

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