HARRISBURG, April 14, 2016 – The number of acres of Berks County agricultural land protected by Pennsylvania’s farmland preservation program eclipsed 70,000 today, state Sen. Judy Schwank said.

The milestone happened when the Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board, of which Schwank is a member, added four more Berks County farms, totaling 169.9 acres, to its ag easement list.

“Nearly 110 square miles of Berks County are now dedicated to all things agriculture,” Sen. Schwank said. “This is a remarkable achievement and something for every Berks County resident to be proud about reaching.”

The four farms added to the farmland preservation program received total ag easements of $424,750. The tracts are owned by:

  • Kenneth & Diane Leiby, Perry Township, 37.6 acres
  • John & Kimberly McGrath, Amity Township, 61 acres
  • Kathy M. Reifsnyder, Upper Tulpehocken Township, 34.2 acres
  • Kenneth R. Sholl, Bethel Township, 37.1 acres

Berks County now has 709 farms – and 70,031 acres – in the state’s farmland preservation program. Berks County has preserved more acreage of farmland than any other county in the program.

Since the farmland preservation program started in 1988, Pennsylvania has protected 4,951 farms totaling 520,619 acres.

For more information on PA’s farmland preservation program, visit the Bureau of Farmland Preservation’s website.


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