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Pennsylvania Setting Records - Pushes Berk County Over the Fifty Thousand Acre Mark
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The Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Board set a new record in October, 2007 by securing 7,122 acres of farmland— the most ever approved in a single meeting. Among the 75 farms located in 22 counties were 14 Berks County farms, which enabled the county to pass the major 50,000 acres milestone. Berks, which started preserving farmland in 1990, ranks second in the state and third in the nation in farmland preservation acres.

The achievement was celebrated at the Benjamin and Patricia Scheffler Farm, a 113-acre crop and beef farm that was approved for preservation in June. With state and local elected officials and agency representatives on hand, the Scheffler family received a certificate presented by Senators Michael O’Pake (D-11) and Michael Folmer (R-48). “All here today and future generations will benefit from this program and what we do today,” said O’Pake. “Let’s give credit where credit is due — to local and county governments for their extra-ordinary commitment to preservation.”

In his own remarks, Ben Scheffler couldn’t let his pride in his own farm, his county and state shine through. “I love farming and I believe in farmland preservation,” he said. “People who come to visit Berks County don’t come here to see development. They come to see farms, cows, crops and rolling hills. If they want to see development, they can go to Jersey.”

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American Farmland Trust