Protecting a Property in Perpetuity
A 120-acre donated farm provides for the future today
For over 50 years Mary Lou and Robert Strode have called the Valley View Farm in Argyle home. They speak fondly of the years spent raising their four children and tending a rotating menagerie of chickens, sheep, peacocks, geese and horses. While the Strodes never actively farmed the property, they’ve always been happy to put the land to good use, leasing acreage to local farmers for hayfields and crops.
Speaking of the 120-acre property, Robert notes that just 75 acres are woodland. “The rest,” he says, “is available for vegetable and hay production. Part of it is currently leased for growing organic vegetables and a considerable portion is used by a neighbor for hay. The Moses Kill runs through the property and is a convenient natural source for irrigation. When we first moved in, it was just one farmer using a few acres.” He adds with a bit of pride, “Today, all but the woodland is being used for agricultural production.”
Another thing that’s changed over the years is the amount of development taking place in the region. The Strodes don’t want to see a repeat of the land grab and development that’s taken place in the Hudson Valley occurring in Washington
County. “That’s really what’s behind our decision to donate a conservation easement to ASA,” says Mary Lou.
“By donating our development rights,” adds Robert, “we’re protecting it for future generations to make a living from it and to enjoy it just as we have. It’s the right thing to do.”
Funding for Valley View project was through ASA's Forever Farmland Fund with a contribution from the landowner.