Welcome to the Berks County Department of Agriculture

Welcome to the Berks County Department of Agriculture

Strategic ImageMission Statement

We promote agriculture in Berks County by preserving farmland, invigorating agricultural economic development, and being an agricultural resource hub for our community. 

Agricultural Land Preservation Board

The Berks County Department of Agriculture works with the Berks County Agricultural Land Preservation Board to permanently preserve large clusters of viable agricultural lands by acquiring agricultural conservation easements (ACE). An ACE prevents the development of the land for any purpose besides productive agriculture. 

Farmland Preservation: Preserving our Roots, Securing our Future

Featured Information

Agricultural Land Preservation Board Meeting Dates

Meeting Time & Location: All regular meetings are scheduled for Wednesdays at 7:00 PM and are currently being held both virtually and at the Ag Center. The public is still invited to participate in meetings, either in person or by using the County's YouTube Channel platform for public participation.  You can access this site by clicking here. Use the "comment" feature on YouTube or contact us.

Initiatives / Projects

Berks County Ag Events Calendar

Find the Agricultural Events happening in Berks County

The Berks County Department of Agriculture and GRCA Announce NEW Local Food Map!

The interactive map connects consumers with fresh, local food in their own backyard and supports local farmers.

In Berks County.....

Farms Preserved: 809

Acres Preserved: 77,743.80

Berks County ranks 3rd in the nation for farmland preservation.

What Is Agricultural Land Preservation

Agricultural conservation easements are purchased or donated voluntarily by the landowners to permanently protect farms for agriculture. Land protected by an easement cannot be used for any other purpose other than agricultural production or commercial equine activity. Protecting groups or clusters of farms helps maintain agriculture as a viable industry.

An agricultural conservation easement is "an interest in land, less than fee simple, which represents the right to prevent the development or improvement of a parcel for a purpose other than agricultural production. It is granted in perpetuity, as the equivalent of covenants running with the land."

For more details on the Berks County Agricultural Land Preservation Program, click here or navigate the options on the left sidebar.

Why Farmland Preservation

Benefits to the Agricultural Community

  • Promotes farming and supports the agri-business system. The agri-business system is a very complex network of producers, processors, sellers and supporting services.
  • Ensures that no development unrelated to agriculture will occur on the land thus providing security to the landowners, and leading to greater capital investments.
  • Provides landowners the opportunity to improve or expand their operations.
  • Allows the farm to be passed between generations.

Benefits to the General Public 

  • Secures a local food base.
  • Stabilizes the local tax base. (Residential development increases taxes in order to provide services such as schools, police, fire, and utilities.)
  • Improves water quality and provides for groundwater recharge.
  • Preserves the scenic environment.
  • Preserves wildlife habitat.
  • Preserves the historical integrity of the area.
  • Preserves the quality of life in Berks County that residents have come to expect.

Further Information 

Agricultural Conservation Easement (ACE) Program
All the details and participant information about Berks County's primary land preservation program

Agricultural Land Preservation Board
Description of the board that partners with the Berks County Department of Agriculture to oversee the Agricultural Conservation Easement (ACE) Program. Includes the meeting schedule and minutes

Agricultural Security Areas (ASA)
Locations established by townships that protect farmers and their agricultural operations from nuisance suits

Local Government Participation
Information on how a local government unit may participate in purchasing conservation easements for agricultural land

FAQs on Agricultural Land Preservation
Frequently asked questions regarding agricultural land preservation and related topics

Agricultural Land Preservation Maps
Maps of agricultural easements, agricultural security areas, and effective agricultural zoning in Berks County

Agricultural land preservation stats and USDA agricultural census data 

Governmental Financial Partners
Contact information for Governmental Financial Partners

Governmental Agencies, Non-Profit Organizations, Berks County Fairs & Festivals