Supporting Land preservation for future generations

   A 13.72 acre farm protected from development

     SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2011

   WERNERSVILLE — A 13.72 acre farm in North Heidelberg Township will become
   the second farm protected from development by Adopt An Acre Inc. and the first
   farm preserved under a Memorandum of Understanding with the County of Berks
   which places the county on the deed of easement as a co-grantee. The MOU, which
   was adopted in 2009, guarantees that the County will defend the conservation
   easement in perpetuity if ever challenged. No county funds will be used to
   purchase the easement. The Ludwigs will receive $1,250 per acre from Adopt An
   Acre Inc. A permanent deed restriction will be placed on the property which
   ensures it will remain in agricultural use.

   Owned by George and Faye Ludwig, this farm is adjacent to two farms preserved by
   the Berks County Agricultural Land Preservation Board and the Commonwealth of
   Pennsylvania. These two farms, owned by the Hook family, total more than 90
   acres.

   "It is important to preserve the small parcels ​next to the farms protected by Act 43," said      

   Sheila Miller, Berks County agricultural coordinator 

   and board member of Adopt An Acre. "The integrity of the cluster of preserved farms is

   maintained for production agriculture as a result of 

   Adopt An Acre's program that preserves small farms. 

   "If these farms are converted to other uses, there are more potential conflicts between

   farmers and nonfarm neighbors who may not 

   understand or ap-preciate the sounds and smells of nonnal farming operations," Miller said. 

   The Ludwigs applied to the nonprofit Adopt An Acre in November 2010. The county

   commission-ers consented to join with Adopt An Acre as 

   a co-grantee on Dec. 8. Settlementon the parcel's con-servation easement took place Dec.

   14. 

   The Ludwigs, who bought their farm in 1969, lease their farmland to neighb01ing dairy

   farmer Ernest Gelsinger. Since the farm was too small    to qualify for the county's agricultural

   land preserva-tion program, Adopt An Acre was able to step in to assist the Ludwigs in

   preserving it.