Lands We've Protected

Upcoming Events

Nov 29, Managing Your Woods ----------------------------------------
Dec 4, State Farmland Protection Grant Informational Workshop in Greenwich ----------------------------------------
Dec 5, State Farmland Protection Grant Informational Workshop in Troy ----------------------------------------
<      >
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Lands We've Protected

Deep Roots Holsteins

340 acres in the Town of Kingsbury

Farmland for the Next Generation
By protecting their land, Donna and Albert Marns gained new security for their family farm's future.

Marns Family Spring 2015When a neighboring farm came up for sale, Hudson Falls dairy farmers Albert and Donna Marns knew right away that they needed to try to buy it. They had been renting the farm's land, and it was important for their operation. "There was a developer looking at it, and it was right next door," says Albert.

Good quality farmland is at a premium in this corner of Washington County, where the Marns currently milk 200 cows on their Deep Roots Farm. Not far from Queensbury, farmland in their area is in demand for housing lots. They had already seen a neighboring farm fall to a developer and didn't want to see it happen again. "When they built a house on that neighboring farm, I cried," says Donna.

But land in their area is expensive, so Albert and Donna started looking into programs that would help them protect the neighboring farm, to make it more affordable for them to purchase. "There's no more land around here to rent. It's started getting more competitive with other farmers and developers. We're young, and if we're going to stay here, we need enough land to farm," Donna says.

Donna and Albert worked with ASA to apply to the New York State Farmland Protection Program, and the federal Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program, for funding that would allow them to purchase the neighboring farm and protect it as well much of their own farm. They were accepted.

The couple—who come from generations of farm families—had their children in mind as well: sons Trenton, 16, Connor, 14, and Tanner, 12. All three boys have an interest in continuing to farm when they're older, but the farm needs enough land to support them.

"With farmers, it's not all about money," says Donna. "We work on a tight margin with milk production. When it comes to land, we just want to be able to stay here, and raise our family and take care of everybody."

This October, the project was finalized, bringing relief to Donna and Albert that the future of the farm is more secure now. Proceeds from the sale of development rights will help the farm expand and upgrade their operation with a new barn and milking parlor. "It's going to leave our sons in a better position, because they'll have more efficient facilities," says Donna.

The project also gave Donna and Albert the deep satisfaction of knowing they were fulfilling the wishes of Donna's father, who started the farm in 1956 with his father. "He wanted to see it stay a farm when he sold it to us," Donna says. "He loved the land, and he loved this farm. My father always said, 'Once you put down concrete, there's no going back.'"

And there's the gratification they gained in knowing that the land they love will stay farmland forever. "I'm not going to work here my entire life to have someone build houses," says Albert.

"When my father passed away, he had the peace of mind of knowing what was going to happen to the farm—and now I know too," Donna adds.


The Latest NEWS

Happy kids for web

Happy Kids Farm

Patrick and Peggy McLenithan donate their development rights on Happy Kids Farm to ASA. "I couldn't see it destroyed. It would have eaten my soul. This land is meant to be farmed."  - Patrick

Read more...

12670260 1108405455845064 8830199603856922594 n

Philpott Farm

Preserving the agricultural heritage of our community and keeping this land available for farming in the future has always been our goal.” – Carleton Philpott

Learn more

Annie  Zack lightened up

Laughing Earth

"We live in a populated area and we are really happy to know that this land will be here, capable of producing food forever." – Annie Metzger

Read more...

 


Follow us on Social Media

 

 Instagram logofacebook    twitter   YouTube

Instagram: AgStewardshipAssociation

Twitter: @ASAFarmland