State protects 104-acre crop farm in Tilden Township from future development

The Shapiro Administration recently announced that Pennsylvania will purchase development rights for 2,629 acres on 28 farms in 19 counties, protecting them from future residential or commercial development. The farms, approved for conservation easement purchases by the State Agricultural Land Preservation Board, represent an $9.8 million investment to ensure that Pennsylvania farmers have the resources they need to continue supporting families, communities, and jobs.

“Pennsylvania’s location — near ports, interstates, railways, and 40 percent of the U.S. population — makes our state a great place to do business,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “If your business is farming, that location brings fierce competition from developers willing to pay top dollar for your land. Keeping prime farmland from becoming warehouses, housing developments, or parking lots is a critical investment the Shapiro Administration is making in partnership with farm families and county and local governments to feed our families, and our economy, and our future.”

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Pennsylvania leads the nation in preserved farmland. Since 1988, when voters overwhelmingly supported creation of the Farmland Preservation Program, Pennsylvania has protected 6,392 farms and 639,254 acres in 58 counties from future development, investing more than $1.7 billion in state, county, and local funds.

The state partners with county, and sometimes local government and nonprofits to purchase development rights, ensuring a strong future for farming and food security. By selling development rights, farm owners ensure that their farms will remain productive farms and never be sold to developers.

In Berks County, the total investment of $291,039 includes $236,907 from the state and $54,132 from the county for the Roger L. Zweizig Farm, a 104-acre crop farm in Tilden Township.

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These purchases multiply Pennsylvania dollars invested in conservation initiatives, including the $154 million Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program, supporting farmers’ efforts to reduce water pollution and improve soil quality, along with Clean & Green tax incentives, Resource Enhancement and Protection dollars, and other funding that is supporting Pennsylvania farmers in conserving and enhancing the clean water and healthy soil they need to be productive in the future.

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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