The Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board took action Thursday to protect nearly 900 acres of farmland in Berks County.

"This means, once again, that agriculture will continue on as one of this region’s biggest economic engines producing the tastiest produce, meat and dairy not only for Pennsylvanians but people throughout the world," said Pa. Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Berks Co., who serves as a member of the board.

The 878 acres of preserved land consist of the following farms:

  • Ronald Bordner, Perry Township, 26.4 acres
  • Robert & Dianne Ketterer, Albany Township, 117.1 acres
  • Ronnie & Lynn Folk, Upper Bern Township, 137.6 acres
  • Richard Greib, Upper Bern Township, 51.6 acres
  • Ernest E. Heckman, Windsor Township, 189 acres
  • Charles & Christi Loverich, Upper Tulpehocken Township, 75 acres
  • Phares & Ellen Newswanger #1, Maxatawny Township, 125.4 acres
  • Phares & Ellen Newswanger #2, Maxatawny Township, 50 acres
  • Dalton & Dorothy Zimmerman, Upper Tulpehocken Township, 105.7 acres

The farms are being preserved through the purchase of $1.8 million worth of conservation easements, Schwank said.

Since the program's inception in 1988, 668 farms, consisting of 66,994 acres of land, have been preserved in Berks County, making it the leading county in Pennsylvania.