|Washington, D.C., Oct. 4, 2011 — Robert E. (Bob) Ambrose of Ridgeview Acres Farm is being honored with the Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Local Heroes Award. This award is in recognition of his outstanding efforts to further the mission of the Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Association by protecting the farms, natural resources and waters of the commonwealth.
“Bob has shown the power of what one individual can do by sticking to a cause and steadily working on its issues,” says Jim Baird, Mid-Atlantic Director for American Farmland Trust (AFT). “A retired engineer by training, Bob has certainly not slowed down. He has served as the appointed chairman of the Westmoreland County Agricultural Land Preservation Board since 2001. The organization has preserved over 10,960 acres of productive farmland.”
“Just as importantly, Bob recognizes that one of the key tools in farmland preservation is the economic viability of farms,” adds Baird. “He served as past-president of the Ligonier Country Market, the county’s largest farm market, partnering with the Loyalhanna Watershed Association to create an outdoor market area that offers easy access to visitors, along with pursuing numerous other economic development ideas to expand agriculture in his region.”
“AFT has a long history of working with Pennsylvanians, as the state is a pioneer in the field of farmland preservation. This year, as AFT celebrates more than 30 years as the national leader in farmland protection and policy work, and through this award, we want to celebrate the local heroes who make farmland protection possible,” adds Baird.
“We want to celebrate the people who are the basis of our success in Pennsylvania: the farmers, landowners and citizens who contribute long hours, expertise and wisdom—and enormous economic investment to preserve their land from unplanned development while keeping the farmland and their communities healthy,” Baird continued. “Bob Ambrose is also an active member of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, and along with managing his Ridgeview Acres Farm, he manages farms in Nebraska and Iowa. Through his work with the Smart Growth/Penn State Cooperative Extension’s Leadership Team for the Future of Westmoreland Agriculture, Bob brought his expertise to the project’s action plan to sustain farms and strengthen the agriculture industry.”
The award is given by AFT in conjunction with Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Association (PFPA), a non-profit, nonpartisan statewide association of conservation easement professionals dedicated to promoting and enhancing the interests of agricultural land preservation in Pennsylvania, at their bi-annual meetings. PFPA provides technical training to develop skills and resources for the organization’s members, promotes standards among the farmland preservation sector, and provides comments on programs, regulations and legislation.
American Farmland Trust is the nation's leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Since its founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, AFT has helped save millions of acres of farmland from development and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more.
AFT's national office is located in Washington, DC. Phone: 202-331-7300. For more information, visit www.farmland.org.