Bill and Miriam Acquaviva have operated Livewater Farm in Westminster for over two decades. Their organic farm has rolling fields, a small sugarbush, and a year-round farmstand. In 1998, VLT helped Bill and Miriam buy additional acreage and expand their farm to 51 acres, all of which they conserved.

Over time, the Acquavivas built up a loyal customer base, selling them raw milk, pork, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken, eggs, and maple syrup. In recent years their son, Taylor, grew to take on a major role on the farm and in 2015 he launched a butter and cheese business. Livewater Dairy makes fresh and aged cheeses, such as mozzarella and tomme, sweet cream butter, and homemade ice-cream.

Sign for farmstand at Livewater Farm along country road, fields opposite

A few years ago, Bill and Miriam began planning for Taylor to take over the farm. As part of this process, they approached VLT about selling an ‘option to purchase at agricultural value.’ This farm-protection measure gives VLT the right to buy the farm at its agricultural value should a future owner try to sell it to a non-farmer—the purpose being to keep conserved farms in active production. The proceeds that Bill and Miriam received from selling these extra conservation restrictions helped them with the transfer of the farm to Taylor and his wife, Dana, this October.

Open sloping pasture with treeline beyond at Livewater Farm

Taylor and Dana will continue to run Livewater Farm while building their cheese and butter business, and Bill and Miriam will continue to live in the farmhouse. “Conservation has made it affordable for us to take over our family farm,” explained Taylor, “and to set the groundwork to carry it forward into the coming generations. We are excited to add to our business and continue to grow our farm and its services.”

Funded by VHCB.