Leiby's Farm Market, Lewistown Valley, has been named the prestigious 2013 Schuylkill Conservation District Farm of the Year.

The award honors a farm that observes best practices in various areas including pest management, no-till farming and other techniques.

The 100-acre, fourth-generation farm is owned and operated by Robert, Eric, Barbara and Elizabeth Leiby. Three generations of Leibys currently grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for their retail farm market. According to the Schuylkill Conservation District, 80 of the Leiby Farm's 100 acres have been placed under an agricultural easement through the Schuylkill County Agricultural Land Preservation Program and can never be sold for development.

Elizabeth "Beth" told the TIMES NEWS Tuesday that the award is the culmination of many years of dedication.

"My grandparents got on the list to have the land preserved," she said, noting that her father, too, always supported the concept of conservation.

Leiby's Farm has been part of Tamaqua's downtown Farm Market since 2005, providing fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables every Tuesday and Saturday.

In addition to their downtown market, Leiby's operates a retail market at the farm on Catawissa Road every Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m..

The Schuylkill Conservation District aims to protect, enhance, restore, and promote the responsible use of the county's natural resources for future generations by partnering, coordinating, and fostering cooperation. This is accomplished with the assistance of public agencies, private groups, and individuals.