After years of leasing land in the Northeast Kingdom while establishing an organic dairy operation, Adam and Heather Moulton bought a farm of their own through the Vermont Land Trust’s Farmland Access Program.
The couple has strong roots in the region: Heather is originally from Derby and Adam from East Charleston. For years, they had searched for a farm that would give their family and business long-term stability. “The Northeast Kingdom is where we want to be, we grew up here and all of our family is here,” explained Heather.
Now, they own a 134-acre, certified organic farm after working with the Vermont Land Trust’s Farmland Access program. With fantastic views of Willoughby Gap and lots of road frontage, the property would have been a prime location for development, but it was important to the original owners, Neal and Rebekah Perry, to see it remain a farm.
Last fall, Neal and Rebekah decided to sell their farm through the land trust program, which connects new farmers with affordable land. Adam and Heather were selected as the buyers through a competitive process because their business model is very well suited to the size, soils, and infrastructure of the farm. They will move their organic, 60-cow herd to Brownington this summer.
“Helping the next generation of farmers to acquire farms is a focus of our Farmland Access Program,” explained Jon Ramsay, of the Vermont Land Trust. Conserving the land also made the sale possible because selling the development rights on land lowers the purchase price. The protections will always keep the land available to agriculture and affordable to farmers, while limiting development. Funding for the conservation of the land came from the Freeman Foundation.
Neal and Rebekah were very happy with the outcome. “We are so relieved that this property will remain a farm, and we are excited for Adam and Heather to have this opportunity,” said Rebekah.
“VLT did a great job managing the transition process for us, they were super to work with at every turn,” added Neal.