Berks farms among 40 preserved for permanent ag production

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Four farms in Berks County are among 40 across Pennsylvania that are being preserved for permanent agriculture production.

The state's Department of Agriculture made the announcement Friday, a day after the decision was made by the Pennsylvania Agricultural Land Preservation Board.

"Our diversity as a state extends far beyond our people to our geography, our products, our production styles, and the options that our land can be used for," said Russell Redding, the state agriculture secretary. "It's important to take pause and consider the implications of transforming farmland into developed land."

The four farms being preserved in Berks County are the David B. Irwin, Nancy I. List, and Curtis and Dorothy Huber farm, a 38.6-acre crop farm; the Adam and Marie Hedbavny farm, a 76.7-acre crop farm; the Marlin and Luann Lauver farm, an 85.3-acre crop farm; and the St. Michael's Church farm, a 60.9-acre crop farm.

"Each acre of land comes with the stories of generations of agriculturalists, and now we know that new chapters will be added on those farms in the future," Redding said.

Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county, and local governments have purchased permanent easements on 5,580 farms totaling 572,527 acres in 59 counties for agricultural production.

"I've often said that the preservation of farmland is just one step in securing a viable future for agriculture in Pennsylvania," Redding added. "We need to give farm families the tools they need to succeed today and plan for the future."

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