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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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The right direction

The news this week that the Bragg farm, high atop Bragg Hill in Fayston, has been purchased by the Vermont Land Trust and will be conserved and sold to a farm family is very welcome and another step in the right direction.

Conserving this historic and important Valley farm accomplishes several important goals.

First, it reverses the troubling trend of farms ceding to residential development and prime agricultural land growing their final crop in the way of houses. This project protects that land from development forever which protects our ability to have our food grown nearby.

Second, by removing the development rights from the parcel, the price of the farm goes way down and the Vermont Land Trust will sell the land at a very affordable price to farmers who can demonstrate a proven ability to grow food on it.

Third, the iconic barn on the property will be restored and will be put to use again. Too many barns in Vermont and The Valley fell into disrepair and fell down. The loss of these historic structures is a sad loss of our shared agricultural heritage. This particular barn on this particularly scenic hill is as much a part of our history as our covered bridges are.

And, finally, conserving this parcel and returning it to a working farm preserves the working landscape and the rural beauty of this piece of the world for everyone who lives and visits here. This particular farm and piece of land are visible from many, many places in The Valley and are spectacularly beautiful. Preserving that beauty benefits all of us the same way conserving Warren Falls and the top of the Northfield Ridge benefits all of us.

Now those scenic viewsheds will belong to all of us and so – here’s the pitch – we’re all going to have to pony up and help make it possible financially.

To save that barn, keep that land open, return it to active agricultural use and preserve that rural beauty is well worth opening our wallets so when the Vermont Land Trust begins its fundraising efforts let’s keep that in mind.

This is an important Valley parcel and this is a step in the right direction.


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