Preservation of the 250th Farm in Northampton County

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County Executive Lamont G. McClure and the Northampton County Farmland Preservation Board celebrated the 250th preserved farm in Northampton County today, June 26, 2023, at the Good Work Farm property in Upper and Lower Nazareth Townships.

This small but crucial working farm is a testament to show even smaller farms add value to the agricultural output and stability of Northampton County’s working farms. Small-scale farming plays a vital role in shaping our future and addressing the global challenge of feeding a growing population sustainably. Its numerous benefits make it essential to a resilient and thriving society. If you are passionate about making a positive impact on the environment and supporting local communities, consider joining a local Community Supported Agriculture or shopping at your local farmer’s market.

Good Work Farm is a small, diversified, mixed-traction farm using both tractors and draft horses to produce vegetables for the small-scale wholesale market. Sustainable growing practices such as conservation crop rotation, contour farming, and cover crops provide fresh, healthy, and high-quality produce to local Community Supported Agriculture and other retailers in the Lehigh Valley. Good Work Farm is owned and operated by Anton Shannon and Lisa Miskelly.

Anton, born and raised in the Lehigh Valley, took on the opportunity to run the hand-worked farm after attending The Seed Farm incubator program, which trains beginning farmers and helps them prepare a business plan to one day have their own farming operation. Lisa, after a career in unique farming experiences, which included milking sheep, making artisan cheese, and working on various farming operations, co-operates the farm with Anton. In addition to her work on Good Work Farm, she works for Pasa Sustainable Agriculture, managing their pre-apprenticeship program in diversified vegetable production.

Some of the Farmland Preservation program milestones celebrated over the length of the program include:

  • The settlement of the first four farms preserved in the county, all on the same day in September of 1993, preserving 805 acres in one day.
  • The celebration of the 100,000 preserved acres in the Commonwealth on the Willard Setzer Farm in Lower Nazareth Township in 1997. At this celebration, then Governor Tom Ridge flew in by helicopter to present the county with a proclamation of achievement. The family of famed actor Jimmy Stewart was presented with their Bi-centennial Farm certification.
  • In 2001 we reached the milestone of preserving 5,000 acres of productive farmland in the county.
  • In 2008, the county hosted the Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Farmland Preservation State Board meeting on the Charles & Jan Graver Farm in Moore Township to celebrate the Commonwealth reaching 400,000 acres preserved and Northampton County reaching our 10,000 acres preserved. Secretary Dennis Wolf, state staff, county and local officials, members of the preservation community, farmers, and landowners enjoyed a luncheon showcasing products from local vendors and local agricultural producers.
  • In 2019 on property purchased by Moore Township using their EIT (Earned Income Tax for Open Space), the county held the 200th Preserved Farm celebration. This property was preserved using an Agricultural Conservation Easement, and Moore Township separated off 15 acres to create the Joseph Schiavone Park. This partnership provided for agricultural ground to continue producing and allowed the park area to provide passive recreation and catch-and-release fishing on the ponds located on that portion of the property. A true successful partnership for the benefit of all.

Northampton County is celebrating 34 years of continued preservation efforts. With the preservation of the 250th farm, we reached the milestone of over 19,000 acres preserved in the county. We currently have 26 farms in the process of preservation. When completed, they will add approximately 500 acres to our preservation history. We are on track to preserve 20,000 acres by 2025.

Pennsylvania leads the nation with the most preserved farmland in the country. Farmland Preservation allows production agriculture to remain a viable industry in the Commonwealth. Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s number-one industry.

As we recognize what we have achieved up to today, we must be ever mindful of where we still need to go. We must be aware that we all need to do our part to ensure that agriculture, not only here in Northampton County continues but ensure that generations to come understand its importance in our daily lives and our future.

If you are interested in any of the products available from Good Work Farm, you can visit their website: or email them at



Information provided to TVL by:
Northampton County Government Center
669 Washington Street
Easton, PA 18042