Procedures for Selling or Transferring a Protected Farm

Selling or Transferring Defined: A transfer of ownership is defined as anytime a new deed is created for the property; including transfers from the owners to themselves, as well as transfers to trusts.

According to Section 138e.227 of the Agricultural Security Area Law: Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program Regulations and Section 11 of the Deed of Agricultural Conservation Easement, the following is required to be completed by the landowner of the property when a farm transfers:

1) The new property deed must "set forth the language of the easement restriction verbatim".

  • This is most easily done by attaching the entire Deed of Agricultural Conservation Easement to the new property deed as an exhibit.
  • The entire Deed of Agricultural Conservation Easement includes: the Deed of Easement itself, Subdivision Guidelines for Berks County, and the legal description of the eased property.

2) Within 30 days, notify the Berks County Agricultural Land Preservation Board (1238 County Welfare Road, Suite 260, Leesport, PA 19533) and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Farmland Preservation, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (2301 North Cameron Street, Room 402, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9408) of the ownership change. The following information must be included in the notification:

  • The name of the landowner selling the property
  • The address of the landowner selling the property
  • The telephone number of the landowner selling the property
  • The name of the new landowner
  • The address of the new landowner
  • The telephone number of the new landowner
  • The price per acre or portion thereof involved in the transfer
  • A reference to the volume and page in which the transfer has been recorded by the recorder of deeds
  • A copy of the deed

Note: Any ownership transfers involving subdivision of a property are required to be approved by both the Berks County Agricultural Land Preservation Board and the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Land Preservation Board. In addition to this, any transfers involving subdivision have additional deed requirements and are best discussed on a case by case basis.

For questions regarding the above information, please contact the ACE Program Coordinator at 610-378-1844, ext. 2540.

This process ensures that your farm remains in agriculture for generations to come!