When Lucy Burch was tasked with settling her parents’ estate in Danby and Mt. Tabor, she struggled with selling their farm. It is a gorgeous 170-acre property, with sweeping views down the Vermont Valley and a historic house and bank barn. Lucy, a long-time farmer and friend of land conservation, knew the price would be prohibitive for most farmers and that the land could easily be developed.

So Lucy contacted VLT to find a way to make the farm affordable and also to find a suitable buyer. Our Farmland Access Program quickly identified a perfect fit—much to the surprise of Lucy and her brothers, their nephew, Jamie Hosley, was a farm seeker VLT had long been trying to help.

Hosley Hill Farm, a partnership between Jamie and Kylie Hosley, had outgrown a small holding in East Arlington. Their business plan to expand their grass-fed beef and pork operation was a perfect fit for the land. David and Faie Hosley, who were Jamie’s grandparents and Lucy’s parents, had operated a dairy in the 1970s and 1980s, and then raised dairy heifers for another 20 years. Lucy and her brothers were delighted that, with conservation, the next generation could afford the purchase, and sold the farm at a discounted rate.

At the closing, Lucy thanked VLT for helping them find a way to keep the farm in the family. And Jamie was pleased as well: “I’m very excited to keep delivering quality, local food to peoples’ tables. By acquiring my grandparents’ farm, I can expand the business, be more productive, and involve my kids in growing Hosley Hill Farm.”

Funded by Vermont Housing & Conservation Board and Black Dog Foundation.

Photo by David Middleton.