We protected nearly 12,000 acres of farms and forestland in 2014 -- quite a year! The thousands of people who support our work help make this all possible.
For immediate release: February 10, 2015
Highgate & Berkshire —Three farms were recently conserved in Franklin County: the Bernard and Sue Rainville farm in Highgate and two farms in Berkshire owned by John and Margie Barabe. The families conserved their properties with the Vermont Land Trust, which will ensure that the land will always be available for farming and forestry. Both families protected the land by selling a conservation easement—a legal tool that limits subdivision and development. The proceeds from the sales will help the Rainvilles and the Barabes transfer their farms to the next generation.
The Rainvilles bought their farm in 1977. Its wide open fields of hay and pasture support a herd of organic dairy cows. They also grow soybeans for feed. They are planning to transfer the farm to their son Louis and his wife, Maggie, in the future.
For immediate release: January 30, 2015
Guildhall -- Farmers Chris and Hannah Fay were able to expand their dairy farm by selling a conservation easement to the Vermont Land Trust on property they had just purchased. As part of the conservation project, they also donated land to The Nature Conservancy that will become part of the Great Guildhall Swamp Preserve. The Fays had been renting the parcel for several years and using it for hay to support their dairy herd. The sale of the easement made buying the land more affordable.
“We conserved this land because we felt it was a prime development spot and wanted to help protect agriculture in the state,” said Hannah about their decision. “Even if our own kids don't want to farm the land, it will still be available to feed the growing population.” The Fays manage a 200-cow dairy that is located further north in Maidstone. Their home farm was conserved with the Vermont Land Trust in 2007.
For immediate release: January 6, 2015
Craftsbury, Glover and Greensboro -- Fairmont Dairy LLC, a partnership of Richard and Bonnie Hall and their nephew Tucker Purchase, conserved 271 acres of farmland with the Vermont Land Trust. The land is located along South Albany Road in Craftsbury, Glover and Greensboro.
Fairmont Farm is a third-generation dairy based in East Montpelier. In 2006 the farm expanded into East Craftsbury after the family bought the former Calderwood farm. Investments into this satellite operation further expanded and modernized the farm’s infrastructure. The family then purchased two additional properties in close proximity, including the former Kinsey dairy farm, which has most of its acreage in Craftsbury.
For immediate release: December 30, 2014
Elmore and Worcester -- A long-sought-after opportunity to protect thousands of acres of well-stocked forestland with outstanding wildlife habitat is on its way to being realized.
The Vermont Land Trust (VLT) purchased 5,600 acres of forestland that has been owned for more than 60 years by the Deer Lake Timber Company, a family-owned company with deep ties to Vermont.
The purchase has sparked an extensive effort to conserve more than 19,000 acres through both easement donations from private landowners and funding from the federal Forest Legacy program.
“Opportunities like this don’t come along very often,” said Gil Livingston, President of VLT. “We feel fortunate to be able to help Vermont make the long-term protection of important forestland possible.”
The land, known locally as Worcester Woods, is located along both sides of Route 12 between Worcester and Elmore. In addition to its value to the timber economy, the conservation of this forestland will protect a large block of internationally significant habitat that connects the Green Mountains, to the Northeast Kingdom, and Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula.
For immediate release: December 23, 2014
Fayston, VT -- The Vermont Land Trust has concluded a rigorous search for new farmers to revive a historic hill farm in Fayston. Following a review of more than 14 proposals, VLT and the Mad River Watershed Conservation Partnership selected local farmers Sebastian and Heather von Trapp, together with Georgia von Trapp and Joey Nagy, to purchase the 283 acre conserved farm on Marble Hill Road.
The von Trapp and Nagy families plan to establish a diversified agricultural operation featuring heifers, chickens, whey-fed pigs and specialty produce to support two existing Valley-based farm and food businesses.
The families’ already successful, local food enterprises -- von Trapp Farmstead artisan, organic cheese, and Mad Taco restaurants – are emblematic of the innovative and community-oriented ventures that Vermont residents and visitors alike have come to expect from the Mad River Valley.
For immediate release: December 23, 2014
Rochester -- Travelers going north on Route 100 to the village of Rochester enjoy miles of scenic hay and cornfields, cattle grazing in upland pastures, and the Green Mountain National Forest rising in the background. The Vermont Land Trust announced today that two farms along this road have been permanently conserved.
Myron “Mike” Bowen and Richard Harvey sold conservation easements on their agricultural land and some of their forestland. These easements limit development and subdivision.
Richard Harvey, along with his wife, Alvina, and daughter Julia, operate Riverbend Farm. The farm was once a dairy run by Richard and his brother. These days, the farm produces beef cattle, hay, and sweet corn.
For the Harveys, selling the conservation easement on 167 acres ensures their land will always be available for farming and will help with the eventual transfer of the land to Julia.
“I’ve wanted to do this for a long time,” said Richard. “It’s great to know my daughter will be farming here, as will generations to come. I’m also happy that Mike’s farm just upriver is being protected at the same time.”
For immediate release: December 22, 2014
Wolcott -- Brothers Steve and Oran Young, along with their wives, Jan Roy and Gail Osherenko, donated a conservation easement to the Vermont Land Trust on 84 acres of their family farm along Town Hill Road in Wolcott.
Their decision to work with the land trust came after they inherited the property following the passing of Steve and Oran’s parents, John and Eleanor Young.
As a family, they agreed that the land should always remain in farming and forestry. They also felt that, left undeveloped, the land would further protect the ecological integrity of the neighboring Bear Swamp Natural Area.
John and Eleanor Young originally purchased the farm in 1947 to start a Christmas tree operation. Through sales on the wholesale market, their trees graced living rooms as far away as Washington D.C. The Youngs operated the tree business until the 1990s, yet even now, some of their remaining hybrid and experimental trees are used as seed sources by other growers.
For immediate release: November 13, 2014
Middlebury -- Nearly a century ago, the visionary Vermont environmentalist Joseph Battell bequeathed to Middlebury College the large tract of land that is home to the Bread Loaf campus.
Bordering the Green Mountain National Forest and encompassing numerous areas of ecological and natural interest, the Bread Loaf campus and surrounding forests have long provided the Middlebury community with spaces for outdoor recreation and environmental education.
Now, thanks to another inspired benefactor, Middlebury can ensure that many of those same lands—approximately 2,100 acres—in the Green Mountains are conserved, protected, and remain with the College in perpetuity.
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