Update May 29, 2013
As the farms of the Mad River Valley spring into the growing season, the campaign to permanently protect one of the Valley’s most iconic farms and facilitate a new agricultural enterprise on Bragg Hill nears completion. With just $20,000 left to raise, two Fayston residents have stepped forward to match the final $10,000 in donations to the Bragg project. If these anonymous donations are matched, the campaign will be complete!
Update Posted April 24, 2013
There was a bottleneck getting into Waterbury's Cork Wine Bar on April 10. Bragg Farm supporters sipped wine and took their chances on winning prizes including a Sugarbush season's pass, Lawson's Finest Liquids, and a night at the Pitcher Inn. In total raised $3,330! Later in the month, Timbers Restaurant at Sugarbush Resort and the Winthrop H. Smith Family Foundation donated $10,000 to protect Bragg Farm. They made their contribution through 1% for the planet.
Thank you everyone! Only $35,000 to go!
Update Posted March 21, 2013
We have $85,000 left to go! Join us on April 10 at Cork Wine Bar in Waterbury for a special event. Meet Marisa Mauro, the future owner of the Bragg farm, drink fabulous wine, try some artisanal butters, and enter a raffle drawing. Proceeds will go to the project. Learn more.
Update Posted December 6, 2012
We are also happy to announce that Marisa Mauro was selected as the new owner of the farm. In 2008, Marisa started Ploughgate Creamery, which produced award-winning cheese until a fire destroyed the place she was leasing. If we are successful in our fundraising effort, Marisa will restart Ploughgate Creamery's operation at the Bragg Farm and establish a grass-based dairy farm that produces butter.
The Bragg Farm, Fayston Vermont
How Can you Help?
Tax-deductible gifts can be made online, or by mail with checks payable to:
Please join us in an effort to protect the agricultural heritage and the vitality of farming in the Mad River Valley by conserving the Bragg Farm in Fayston, VT.
The Bragg Farm is one of the Mad River Valley's most treasured farms. Perched high above the Mad River, the farm's iconic barn, hay fields and incomparable views of the Green Mountains showcase the beauty and agricultural productivity of the Valley's working landscape. In 2008, the 48 acre farm was placed on the market.
Acting together with the Mad River Watershed Conservation Partnership, the Vermont Land Trust purchased the Bragg farm in August 2012 and sought a new farmer through a competitive selection process. The conservation and sale of the Bragg farm will advance the goals of the Vermont Land Trust's Farmland Access Program, which helps experienced farmers gain access to productive, affordable farmland.
Bragg Farm History
"Frank has hired two men and is cutting timber for a large new barn...130' long and 45' wide, with stables for 48 cattle, 6 horses and a silo. His father 'trembles' at the cost
---- Letter from Anna Bragg , 1908
The Bragg farm was purchased in the 1850s by Azro and Anna Bragg. At its peak, the Braggs owned 550 acres and milked 40 cows, and produced strawberries, raspberries, potatoes and enough maple syrup to export to western markets. In 1909, Frank Bragg, Azro and Anna's son, began to mill the lumber to build the massive Late Bank barn, a project that took three years. Frank died tragically shortly thereafter and the farm was sold. In 1952, Willis and Erlene Bragg reacquired a portion of the original family farm to operate a small dairy. Willis and Erlene's son, Reggie, and his wife Dorothy sold the farm to VLT.
An Exciting Future for an Historic Farm
The Vermont Land Trust will only own the Bragg Farm on a temporary basis. If our efforts are successful, the farm will be sold to new farmers dedicated to contributing to the vitality of agriculture in the Mad River Valley.
Protecting the Bragg Hill Farm will:
- Permanently conserve scenic and productive farmland
- Revitalize the Bragg farm with a new farm operation
- Ensure the long-term affordability of the farm
- Preserve the historic barn
We need your help to protect this treasured community landmark and important agricultural resource.
The Vermont Land Trust purchased the farm using bridge financing for its appraised value of $760,000. VLT will offer the farm to qualified farm seekers at its appraised agricultural value of $175,000. In addition to raising funds to cover the conservation easement (appraised at $585,000), VLT seeks funding to assist in the preservation of the historic barn. Of the total fundraising goal of $792,000, VLT will seek $292,000 in grant funding from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. A generous donation of $250,000 has already been pledged to support the campaign.
That leaves a $250,000 balance to be raised within the community. Please help us raise this final $250,000 to protect this agricultural and community treasure. You can donate online today online today, or send your contribution by check with "Bragg" written in the memo line. Please send checks to Vermont Land Trust, 8 Bailey Ave, Montpelier, VT 05602.
Print the PDF version of this information.