Monkton & Ferrisburgh, VT – November 23, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Nearly 200 acres of productive farmland have been permanently protected through conservation, the Vermont Land Trust announced today.
The Vermont Land Trust, the Town of Monkton, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, and the Claflin family worked together to conserve the Claflin’s family farm.
For three generations, the Claflins have farmed the scenic stretch of open land on Old Hollow Road. Sid Claflin and his four sisters—Barbara, Dawn, Lela and Elizabeth—wanted to make sure that the farm would always remain open and available for future farmers. To this end, they decided to conserve the open meadows on both sides of Old Hollow Road, in addition to 100 acres in Monkton.
The sale of the conservation easement to the Vermont Land Trust was funded by grants from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Town of Monkton.
The proceeds from the sale helped the family settle the estate after their mother’s death. Now Sid is the sole owner of the farm. His long-term goals are to return to dairy farming and to keep the scenic land in productive use. The land is currently being used for hay.
“Conserving the farm was the right choice for our family,” said Sid. “Since I own it, now I can reinvest in the farm, and it gives me the peace of mind that all my work won’t be lost to development someday.”
A grant from the Monkton Agricultural and Natural Areas Fund was instrumental in conserving this farm. Sue Regier, chair of the Monkton committee that recommended the project to the Selectboard commented: “This is an exciting project to bring to fruition. It’s the first working farm that our town’s fund helped to conserve and we learned so much in the process. Now we hope to help other Monkton farmers in similar ways.”
“Three and a half years ago the Monkton voters started setting aside funds to conserve agricultural lands and natural areas, said Stephen Pilcher, a member of the Monkton Selectboard. “The Claflin Farm is one of the gateways into Monkton and preserving it as agricultural land is consistent with its rural character.”
The Vermont Land Trust works with landowners to conserve land through the use of a conservation easement—a legal tool that limits development on productive farmland and forestland, and other meaningful natural and community places. Landowners continue to own, manage, and pay taxes on the land and can sell their land; however, the conservation easement permanently remains on the property.
“This is a great farm to conserve,” said Allen Karnatz, Champlain Valley regional director for the Vermont Land Trust. “It abuts other conserved farmland and it helps to support the local farm economy. Having the support of the Monkton partnership was key as state funds for VHCB are stretched very thin. In these tight budget times, even small amounts of local funding can go a long way to getting quality farmland protected.