Rupert Chamberlin, longtime president of the Vermont Farm Bureau, started farming in Barton in the early 1960s, with his wife, Muriel. Over time, they pieced together 105 acres of excellent farmland with spectacular views of the Lowell Mountain Range and Jay Peak. As they approached retirement, they sold their dairy herd and began to lease their land to neighboring dairy farmers, John and Deanna Broe.
This fall, they conserved their farm, which will prevent development and make sure that the land will remain available and more affordable to future generations of farmers. Muriel said she hopes that conserving that land “will help the farmers, who are now renting the land, to be able to buy it down the road.” The property includes two headwater streams of the Willoughby River. These streams are now protected with forested buffer areas where farming is restricted to help reduce erosion, promote clean water, and support wildlife habitat.