New Jersey

Future of Farming in Montgomery County to Be Debated

County planner says farm preservation funds "triple" in 2017, presenting more opportunities for sustaining local agriculture.

More than 9,200 acres of farmland have been preserved by Montgomery County, part of a vision by the planning commission to keep agriculture part of the culture.

In 2017, the budget for preserving more farmland is bigger than before, commission executive director Jody Holton said.

"This year, the amount that Montgomery County has to invest in the Farmland Preservation Program will triple," she said in a statement.

To bring in voices from farmers and residents, the county is hosting an all-day conference, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 10, in Telford. The location is Franconia Heritage Restaurant, 508 Harleysville Pike.

The topics for the summit titled "Keeping Farming in Montgomery County: A Conference Focusing on Sustaining Farming for the Future" will be farmer-centric: funding sources for on-farm improvements, emerging sectors of the farm marketplace, soil health, diversifying farm products and transitioning farms to the next generation.

The keynote speaker will be a third-generation farmer from New Jersey, Lawrence Kuser, owner and president of Fernbrook Farms in Chesterfield, Burlington County. Kuser will discuss how he has diversified his farm's business over the last 30 years.

The conference will be split into morning and afternoon sessions.

Anyone interested should register with the county Farmland Preservation Program or contact program administrator Danielle Weiden at (610)278-5239 or

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