Tony Brault runs a successful meat business, raising more than 100 cattle and 150 pigs each year. He has a slaughterhouse, and sells through wholesale accounts, and from his retail shop in Troy, where he smokes ham and makes beef jerky. But most of the 400 acres that he leased came up for sale recently, threatening the longevity of Brault’s Market.

Luckily, just two miles from Tony’s business, farmers Raymond and Lillian Bathalon were retiring, and were ready to sell their 293-acre, conserved farm. The Bathalons conserved their land back in 1995, before VLT began including restrictions in our easements that keep farmland available to farmers by giving VLT the option to buy the farm if it looks like it might be sold to a non-farmer. So, Tony worked with VLT to add this clause to the conservation easement, and was compensated for doing so, effectively making the purchase of the land more affordable.

Tony’s new land has 125 acres of cropland and more than 60 acres of pasture, plus a small sugarbush. Owning this land will improve the efficiency of the business, since all of his animals and much of his land will be in one location. Tony can also now invest in infrastructure for the long haul, making feeding and handling of the cattle easier.

Funded by VHCB. (June 2017)