WERNERSVILLE, Pa. – As concerned citizens celebrated Earth Day April 22, to focus attention on efforts to conserve natural resources, a new nonprofit organization to save farmland is being launched in Berks County, according to its president, Victoria Kintzer.
Called Adopt An Acre Inc., the group will supplement what is already being done to preserve agricultural land by the federal, state and local governments.
Priority. Kintzer, who has served on the Berks Agricultural Land Preservation Board since it was created 18 years ago said the importance of saving farmland in Pennsylvania has been a priority issue for her.
She pointed out that Pennsylvania farmers are vital to the state’s economy, generating $4.9 billion in cash receipts and $45 billion in total economic impact according to the Department of Agriculture’s statistics.
Kintzer has teamed up with former legislator and Berks Agricultural Land Preservation Board member Sheila Miller to help launch Adopt An Acre Inc. as a 501(c)3.
Officially created in 2005, the group recently secured office space and will be setting up regular business hours on the Wernersville State Hospital campus.
Theme. Since this year’s Earth Day theme was “Preserving Our Environment,” Adopt An Acre Inc. has chosen a fundraising theme that is tied to preserving food. The group has partnered with Extension volunteers and the local agricultural land preservation board staff to create a special ornament made from recycled materials.
Berks County Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences educator Sue Giachero helped collect used canning jar lids that were transformed into ornaments featuring one of the preserved farms in Berks County owned by Dennis and Robin Miller of Perry Township.
The conservation easements on the 43-acre farm were purchased in 2003, making it the 330th farm preserved in Berks County and the 434th farm preserved in Pennsylvania through the Act 43 of 1981.
Shelf life. Said Kintzer, “How appropriate to recycle something that helps to preserve food for people to eat in order to preserve farmland to grow the crops to be harvested to feed people now and in the future.
“Everybody needs to eat, and we want to keep agriculture’s shelf life to last forever. We can’t afford to spoil any more fertile farmland unnecessarily.”
Kintzer said people can contact Adopt An Acre Inc. to make a donation and receive one of these special ornaments and to learn more about programs that can assist them in saving farmland.
Contributions to the 501(c)(3) organization are tax deductible and can be sent to: Adopt An Acre Inc., c/o Victoria Kintzer, 624 Frederick St., Sinking Spring, PA 19608.
Volunteers. “We are looking to involve anyone who cares about saving farmland. Although we are getting started in Berks County, we hope our efforts can be expanded to even broader horizons so that more agricultural land can remain in production throughout Pennsylvania,” she said.
For more information, contact Kintzer at 610-777-3005.
STAY INFORMED. SIGN UP!
Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!