Since 2020, $190,000 has been distributed to 10 farms, in partnership with 8 NH Land Trusts conserving 991 acres, in 7 counties. The goal of the NH Farm Future Fund is to ensure farmland is conserved, productive, and available for future generations. It is an integrated approach to funding farm viability, farmland conservation, and farmland access.
As a partner on the NH Farm Future Fund, we offer our congratulations to the 2021 grant recipients, and our farmers and friends:
Huckins Farm, New Hampton NH: In 2021, the Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) will purchase a conservation easement on 132 acres of the Huckins Farm. The Huckins Farm is a small dairy operation that sells its milk, cheese and yogurt directly to the consumer through its farm stand as well as through retail stores state-wide. It will use NH Farm Future funds to develop business practices, conduct farm succession planning, and enhance its social media/web presence and marketing.
Maple Leaf Farm, Lyme NH: In 2021,Upper Valley Land Trust (UVLT) will protect 42 acres of Maple Leaf Farm, an idyllic mix of farm and forestland situated along NH Rt. 10 in Lyme. A conservation easement, in the form of an NRCS ALE, will be purchased utilizing funds from UVLT’s NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). NH Farm Future funds will aid in covering a portion of the costs for the project and will be utilized by the Farm Partner to seek project representation and business and transition planning support.
Meadow’s Mirth Farm, Brentwood NH: In 2021, Southeast Land Trust of NH (SELT) will purchase a permanent conservation easement on a 33-acre property currently owned by Game Farm, LLC. In conjunction with SELT’s easement purchase, Game Farm, LLC has agreed to lease the farm to Meadow’s Mirth Farm. The lease agreement also gives the farm-founder an option-to-buy once the conservation easement is completed, offering Meadow’s Mirth its first chance at farm ownership after more than 15 years of operating on leased land. SELT will use $10,000 to cover transactional expenses of the easement, while Meadow’s Mirth Farm will use $10,000 for technical assistance.
Pete’s Stand, Walpole NH: In 2021, the Monadnock Conservancy permanently protected this farmland by purchasing a conservation easement. This grant request seeks $10,000 to be used for technical assistance and $10,000 to be used to cover Conservancy costs related to the appraisal expense and the stewardship fund contribution. The technical assistance funds will likely be used to cover the farmer’s legal fees to review the conservation easement and transaction documents, to assist in implementing land lease related agreements, and to address other business related planning and implementation needs as available funding allows.
Picadilly Farm, Winchester NH: In 2021, the Monadnock Conservancy permanently protected this farmland by purchasing a conservation easement. This grant request seeks $10,000 to be used for technical assistance and $10,000 to be used to cover Conservancy costs related to the initial appraisal expense, the survey expense and a portion of the stewardship fund contribution. The technical assistance funds will likely be used to cover the farmer’s legal fees to review the conservation easement and other transaction related documents, and to provide business finance and marketing assistance.
The Farm Future Fund is a grant program that is privately funded and administered by the Cheshire County Conservation District on behalf of the NH Association of Conservation Districts. Key partners in making this grant possible are the NH Community Loan Fund and Land for Good. Funding is provided by the You Have Our Trust Fund and the Madison Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation. Additional thanks to the Land Resources Action Team of the New Hampshire Food Alliance. The NH Farm Future Fund grew out of the efforts of this Action Team.
For more information, visit cheshireconservation.org/nhfarmfuturefund