Brennan visits New Hope farm to discuss agricultural preservation efforts

Joined Agriculture Secretary Redding

NEW HOPE, Dec. 5 -- Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and state Rep. Tim Brennan, D-Bucks, recently visited Manoff Market Gardens & Cidery in Solebury Township to promote the farm's designation as a PA Preferred member, a program that provides farmers and agribusinesses with a brand identity for the products they grow, harvest, or produce.

Manoff Market Gardens is a family farming operation connecting people with locally grown food and products in New Hope, PA.?Amy and Gary Manoff began farming on Comfort Road in 1984, with a focus on growing fruit and creating delicious products from it. They are currently in the middle of the popular apple and cider season.

Gary Manoff is a member of the Solebury Township Farm Committee, established in July 2016. The Solebury Township Land Preservation Program provided the means for the Manoffs to continue farming by helping them purchase the original but expired Heritage Conservancy land easement in 2021.

“The PA Preferred designation is significant because it assures customers the farm’s products are locally grown and processed. It encourages consumers to support local farms, which helps the farmers’ families and their surrounding communities as well,” Brennan said. “To further support and preserve local farms such as Manoff’s, I have sponsored H.B. 1777, a bill intended to create an Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Fund to help the state and counties to work with nonprofit entities to purchase agricultural conservation easements.” 

A bipartisan bill (H.B. 1777) introduced with co-sponsor state Rep. Keith Greiner, R-Lancaster, would allocate additional funds to agriculture preservation efforts. The newly allocated funds would be used in partnership with private land trusts, such as the Heritage Conservancy in Bucks County, that would administer private funds to reduce the burden on taxpayers.

“Agriculture is PA's top industry, but we’ve been losing prime agriculture land year over year – a trend that could result in decreased food production and increased food costs,” Brennan said. “This bill helps reverse that trend and encourages private partnerships and investment in our communities, with a goal of ensuring the agriculture sector’s sustainability.”