In the final weeks of 2017, MFT worked with farmers to protect six more Maine farm properties with agricultural easements:
MFT worked with the farmers at Ecko Farms of Corinna and St. Albans to protect the Cooley Property. The farm property is used to produce hay and corn for Ecko Farms’ large dairy operation and MFT hopes to work with these farmers in the future to protect an additional piece of their large land base.
Young dairy farmers Conor MacDonald and Alexis Gareau closed on a second easement to complete the purchase of Bo Lait Farm in Washington. Bo Lait ships organic milk to Organic Valley. In this tough climate for dairy farming, we are so proud of Alexis and Conor, who have built their herd from 12 to 40 cows in three years! Conor and Alexis got into farming after Conor finished serving 10 years in the US Army, traveling all over the world. Now he’s happy to be rooted in one place and farming: “MFT has done so much for us, and we wouldn’t be milking cows if it wasn’t for MFT.”
Steven and Shannon Lion closed on an easement to protect their 374-acre Sunkhaze Wild Blueberry Farm on Horseback Road in Township 23, Middle Division, in Hancock County. The Lions sell berries to Wyman’s and Bartlett Winery, and hand-rake some for fresh pack sales. Their farm sits at the headwaters of the Sunkhaze Stream. MFT has been working on this project for several years, and everyone is so happy this special piece of farmland will be protected for the future.
MFT and Coastal Mountains Land Trust worked together to craft a multi-purpose easement for the Metcalf-Ferguson farm property in Northport. The easement protects the opportunity for agriculture and forestry as well as the wildlife habitats, ecology, scenic views from public vantage points, and water quality in Knight Pond and the Ducktrap River watershed. The Metcalf family donated the easement, fulfilling the vision of the late matriarchs to conserve the family farm. (Aerial photo by Jacob Gerritsen).
Dan Curran closed on an easement to protect another 166 acres of Curran Farm in Sabattus. This was MFT’s second easement project with Dan and he’s such a great advocate for farmland protection, which he says is important because “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t eat. Maybe this will help some people stop and think about what they can do to support Maine farmers.”
Denise Carpenter closed on an easement to protect 231-acre Chellis Brook Farm in Newfield. Over the years Denise stitched together three old farm properties and restored the pastures for her cattle operation. The easement will ensure that her work to bring back the agricultural viability of the land will not be reversed in the future.