Vermont Dairy Farm Saved
Molly Davies remembers driving past the Chandler Pond Farm and admiring its enormous, cupola-topped barn. "When I heard it was up for sale," she says, "my first thought was, 'Oh no, another Vermont dairy farm bites the dust.'" But Molly acted quickly, selling her family's ski house in Stowe so she could buy the farm - not as a second home for herself, but as a working dairy farm for the right family. Not only did Molly donate the conservation easement, she also donated an agriculture affordability option which will ensure that the land is accessible and affordable to future generations of farmers. She conserved the 544-acre farm with the help of the Vermont Land Trust in 2005, and then sold it at an affordable price to Mike and Elsa Betit, a young pair of native Vermont farmers who had managed to build an organic pork business.
The Vermont Land Trust is a statewide, member-supported, nonprofit land conservation organization. Since 1977, the Vermont Land Trust has permanently conserved more than 1,400 parcels of land covering 470,000 acres, or about eight percent of the private undeveloped land in the state. The conserved land includes more than 630 working farms, hundreds of thousands of acres of productive forestland, and numerous parcels of community lands.
Photo by Craig Line, courtesy Vermont Land Trust