Gettysburg National Military Park Seeks Farmers Interested in Leasing Agricultural Lands
Contact: Katie Lawhon, (717) 334-1124
Gettysburg National Military Park is seeking area farmers who are interested in leasing agricultural lands under the park's Agricultural Use Program. Approximately 350 acres are available in four parcels for row crops and hay production. Application forms and additional information are available online or by contacting the park as described below.
The Agricultural Use Program at GettysburgNMPis one of the tools the park uses to manage the battlefield's cultural landscape. At the time of the battle, the lands that now make up the park were a patchwork of farms with crop fields, pastures, orchards and woodlots. The park's farmer/partners help us represent the 1863 crop fields and lower the government's cost for cultural landscape maintenance.
Farmers currently pay $25 per acre for their permitted lands. This is lower than the average cash rent for Adams County farmlands because the permits include a number of restrictions designed to protect the cultural and natural resources of park lands which can impact agricultural operations. For example, pesticide use must be approved and documented. Hay harvest is restricted until after July 15 to protect grassland breeding birds. Storage of hay bales and equipment is restricted to protect the views of the landscape.
Farmers interested in joining the program should carefully read the information materials, especially the permit conditions, to be sure that they understand how the program would be different than renting private farm lands. Farmers should also consider the impacts of operating within a very popular and highly visited national park.
Interested farmers will need to submit the provided application to the park by close of business on April 25, 2014, to be considered. The park will review the applications, interview the most appropriate candidates, and select one or more applicants to fill the current need. Current permit holders may apply.
To obtain the information packet go to http://www..gov/gett/planyo
Gettysburg National Military Park is a unit of the National Park Service that preserves and protects the resources associated with the Battle of Gettysburg and the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and provides an understanding of the events that occurred there within the context of American History. Information is available at www.nps.gov/gett.
Did You Know?
Major General George Gordon Meade was appointed to command the Union "Army of the Potomac" just three days before the battle of Gettysburg. He was honored in 1896 with an equestrian statue at Gettysburg National Military Park.