Lancaster Farmland Trust is excited to announce the results of a recent public survey concerning Lancaster County residents’ opinions regarding farmland preservation and current policies. The Trust commissioned Susquehanna Polling and Research, a nationally-recognized survey research and polling firm in Harrisburg, to conduct the survey of Lancaster County residents.
In December 2015, the firm conducted a telephone poll of 402 Lancaster County registered voters. Results showed that residents continue to fervently support farmland preservation efforts. In addition, residents’ responses demonstrate the robust role that agricultural lands and our unique farming heritage continue to play in the excellent quality of life enjoyed by Lancastrians.
Highlights of the survey include:
- 91% said that they enjoy either an “excellent” or “good” quality of life in Lancaster County.
The high quality of life was closely related to the availability of fresh local foods, agriculture, farmland, Amish, and open space.
- Issues concerning sprawl, loss of farmland and open space, and traffic made up 22% of all responses, second only to crime and public safety. (23%)
83% of the survey group said that they were “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the loss of Lancaster County farmland.
- Concern about farmland loss had broad-based political support with 72% of Republicans and 84% of Democrats responding that they would like to see an increase in farmland preservation efforts.
- More than 7 in 10 respondents support continued use of county public funds for farmland preservation efforts.
- 92% felt that local, county, and state officials should do more to preserve and protect farmland and other open spaces.
- 94% agreed that preserving farmland improves quality of life in Lancaster County.
- 96% agreed that preserving farmland is an important investment in the future.
Caroline Morton, chair of Lancaster Farmland Trust’s Board of Trustees, commented, “The poll results confirm that Lancaster County residents strongly support farmland preservation and understand the value agriculture brings to our county. Residents are steadfast in their opinions that farmland preservation is a worthy investment of our financial resources for many different reasons including quality of life, attracting jobs, enhancing property values, improving water quality, and supporting Lancaster County’s economy.”
“The Trust is excited to know that residents enthusiastically support the organization’s mission to preserve and steward Lancaster County’s precious farmland and natural resources,” commented Karen Martynick, Executive Director of the Trust. “We plan to move forward in our efforts to preserve as many farms as possible. It is an investment with a fantastic return for all of us in Lancaster County.”
To date, the Trust has preserved 463 farms and over 28,000 acres since 1988.