Cold temperatures and snowfall may mark the end of harvest season but here at UVLT, work with agriculture is busier than ever! Our staff is currently working with owners of ten farmland parcels encompassing hundreds of acres of our region’s best agricultural land.
Dairy, beef, and vegetable farms from Charlestown, NH to Newbury, VT depend on access to fertile soil. Land conservation protects these resources so that they remain available and viable for farming. Farmers sell conservation easements because they care about the future of their land. They use sale proceeds to acquire more land, capitalize new ventures, retire debt or make ownership or management transitions.
Farmland conservation transactions can be quite complex. They may involve multiple funding partners and business considerations. Some of the projects currently underway will be completed within the next 6-8 months. Surveys, appraisals, grant applications and agency reviews for others will take another year or more. Staff are assessing four new inquiries and beginning consideration of options with those landowners as well.
We’re thrilled to have such a strong queue of farm conservation transactions! We support, and are grateful to, farmers and our partners at USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, as well as other foundations, agencies, and local conservation commissions engaged in this work.
CR Farm, owned by Gordon Huntington along Newbury’s historic Oxbow, is one of ten farm conservation projects currently underway. After outreach to farmers last summer, UVLT is working with landowners in Haverhill, Newbury, Lyme, Hanover, and Charlestown.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can conserve your farmland click below!