EBENSBURG – Farmland in Clearfield and Allegheny townships will continue to be used for agricultural purposes thanks to an Agricultural Conservation Easement approved by the Cambria County Commissioners Thursday.

The farmland of Sandra Brzezinski, more than 146 acres, was approved for a sale and purchase of an Agricultural Conservation Easement.

Jackie Ritko, a watershed specialist with the Cambria County Conservation District, said Brzezinski asked for $1 for the easement, which is unusual.

Ritko said the conservation district's Farmland Preservation program typically has extensive criteria to rank and evaluate farms who apply to sell their development rights and ensure their land will be used for agricultural purposes in the future.

Applications are reviewed every year by the Farmland Preservation board, who are in charge of seeking assessments and appraisals based on the fair market value of the land to determine how much farmers should receive for their development rights.

Selling development rights is basically securing a permanent easement, Ritko said, and restrict any type of development of farmers' land while they keep ownership, or, if they sell their properties.

"I think it's a valuable tool for farmers who want to keep their farms," Ritko said, and preserves prime agricultural spaces throughout the county.

The commissioners also approved the Cambria County District Attorney's Office to execute a field experience agreement with Indiana University of Pennsylvania to allow for unpaid internships and clinical experience.

​Jocelyn Brumbaugh is a reporter for the Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @JBrumbaughTD.

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