Tina Durrance and Pete Decker started an organic dairy in Barton 10 years ago. As their business began to outgrow their farm, they decided to scale-up by working with VLT’s Farmland Access Program to buy a 570-acre conserved farm in Morgan that was being sold by retiring dairy farmers.
When it came time to sell the original farm in Barton, Pete and Tina decided to team up with the Farmland Access Program again—this time to find a good farmer to buy the land. The farm wasn’t conserved, so Pete sold a conservation easement on the land, which in turn will make it more affordable to Eli Shetler, a young Amish farmer who recently moved to the area.
Eli, whose father owns a farm in Brownington, had been looking for his own farm for a couple of years. Eli is currently leasing the land with the plan to purchase it later in the year. This summer he plowed and planted 30 acres of oats with a team of horses, laying the foundation for a livestock operation.
In addition to good farmland, there are streams, a portion of Lord Brook, a northern white cedar swamp, and other wetlands. Conservation will ensure the protection of these features for generations to come.
Funded by the Freeman Foundation.