DOAG: SHEPARD FARM IN SOUTH WINDSOR PERMANENTLY PROTECTED FOR AGRICULTURAL USE

 

August 29, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


SHEPARD FARM IN SOUTH WINDSOR PERMANENTLY PROTECTED FOR AGRICULTURAL USE

 

Contacts                                                        

Andrew Paterna, Town of South Windsor, 860-874-5596

Linda Piotrowicz, Connecticut Department of Agriculture, Linda.Piotrowicz@ct.gov

 

 

Press Event                                                  

10:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 29, 2018, 726 Main Street, South Windsor, CT

 

Mayor Saud Anwar and Connecticut Commissioner of Agriculture Steven K. Reviczky today announced the permanent protection of approximately 50 acres of farmland owned by the Shepard family, situated on the easterly side of Main St. and the southerly side of Pleasant Valley Rd.

 

The Town of South Windsor and the Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s joint acquisition of development rights to the farm through the state’s voluntary Farmland Preservation Program results from the positive working relationship developed among the entities. 

 

“The Connecticut River Valley contains some of the best agricultural soils in the country,” Commissioner Reviczky said.  “South Windsor’s history is steeped in the fertility of this land.  Preserving the best of the best soils for future generations to farm is critical to maintaining a high quality of life for the community and entire state of Connecticut.”

 

All of the land preserved through the partnership has been classified as prime or important farmland soils, deemed the most productive and critical for agricultural preservation.  The farm has four tobacco sheds and the historic Adler-Dobkin warehouse on Main St., and currently is used for production of a variety of crops.

 

“Now that contracts have been executed, and land deeds recorded, it becomes a reality for the Town of South Windsor,” said Mayor M. Saud Anwar.  “With the continued support of its voters, the cooperation of local farm owners, and the foresight of the Town Council, I expect that South Windsor will participate in even more farmland preservation.”

 

The Town contributed $245,500, and the State of Connecticut $462,254, to purchase the development rights from the landowners, who maintain ownership of the property.  A conservation easement is now in place on the land, permanently restricting the use of the farm to agriculture only.  South Windsor’s participation is possible by an Open Space Referendum authorized by South Windsor voters in 2012.

 

“This is an important piece of property we are actually getting to put into play in terms of forever,” remarked Deputy Mayor Andrew Paterna. “And that’s a really powerful word.”

 

Participants agree the project exemplifies what can be accomplished when landowners, the town, and the state work together.

 

“There’s more land,” owner Tim Shepard said, speaking of the land up and down Main Street, which includes many acres classified as prime or important farmland soils. “I think PDR [purchase of development rights] is a great way to go. I think we accomplished a lot for a good dollar value.”

 

Town Manager Matthew Galligan added, “We must continue to be involved in these great programs that not only preserve valuable farmland but South Windsor heritage as well.”

 

Protected farms help the town and state promote local food security, retain rural character and scenic vistas, protect natural resources, and sustain employment in the agricultural sector.   The Shepard family recently preserved approximately 60 additional acres of farmland along the Connecticut River through the state program.

 

Jim and Honora Futtner, Main Street residents, and farmers, said they applaud the Shepard family for “taking steps and preserving the land which will help preserve the rural character of South Windsor and keep the town the special place that it is.”

 

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