Milton – December 16, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — The Devino family conserved 170 acres of their prominent farm on North Road with the Vermont Land Trust on December 13, 2013. This is the fifth property in Milton to be conserved by the Vermont Land Trust.
Brothers Erwin and Lee Devino bought the farm—known as Arrowhead Farm—from their father, Earl, in 1977. These days, Erwin and Loretta’s son Jason is helping to run the farm; the sale of the conservation easement will help with the eventual transfer of the farm to Jason.
“It’s been farmed for at least 150 years and we hope it lasts for at least another 100,” said Erwin.
In 2010 the farm received the Dairy of Distinction award from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.
Jason intends to downsize the fluid milk business and focus on breeding by selling registered Holsteins, Jerseys, Ayrshires, and frozen embryos. He would also like to make cheese.
“Farming is always changing,” Jason reflected. “It’s important to be flexible and consider different business models. Working with the Vermont Land Trust and conserving the farm gives us an opportunity to chart a different course.”
Located across from the Husky Injection Molding facility on the edge of the village, the farm is well situated for producing and selling local food products.
“The Devino farm has excellent agricultural soils that are worth protecting for future generations,” said Al Karnatz of the Vermont Land Trust. “The renewed emphasis on local food production will keep farms near villages in high demand.”
The Milton Selectboard and Planning Commission both unanimously endorsed the project. The Planning Commission in particular feels that keeping the land open and in farming is very compatible with the Town Plan.
“Since it is on the edge of the village it was important for the Vermont Land Trust to seek input from Town officials,” said Al Karnatz. “We don’t want to conserve land that might conflict with town planning. For example, a portion of the Devino farm is excluded from the conservation easement to provide flexibility for other uses.”
The purchase of the conservation easement was funded by state and federal sources. The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board awarded a grant for the project that was matched by federal Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program managed by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).