The Geneva Lake Conservancy has just accepted assignment of the transfer of three agricultural conservation easements from the American Farmland Trust; easements that will permanently protect these organic farms in the East Troy area from subdivision or other development.
These three easements were secured by the American Farmland Trust in December of 2000. The Geneva Lake Conservancy has been chosen to take over these farm easements to ensure that there is a local connection with both, the landowners and lessees of the properties.
The three farms consist of 788 acres of organic farmland. Each property includes not only farmland, but also natural features such as undisturbed woodland areas with old growth stands of oak trees, extensive wetland areas, including areas where Honey Creek passes through the properties, as well as prairies. According to the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, between these three properties there are areas of Prime Agricultural Land, Primary Environmental Corridor, Secondary Environmental Corridor, as well as Isolated Natural Resource Areas.
Two of the three properties are owned by Christopher and Martina Mann and leased to a local farmer as well as to the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. The third farm is owned by the Yggdrasil Land Foundation and leased to the Krusenbaum Family for their organic dairy operation. For more information on the organizations involved in these properties visit, www.michaelfields.org and www.yggdrasillandfoundation.org.
Charles Colman, chairman of the Geneva Lake Conservancy, reflected, “This is a great day for conservation and the Geneva Lake Conservancy. These new easements represent a big step forward for us and will help develop new tools for the future protection of beautiful farm properties all around our lakes area”.
“It was our honor back in 2000 to be in a position to help the Mann’s realize their vision of protecting and conserving their farms,” said Andrew McElwaine, President and CEO of American Farmland Trust. “We are pleased now to entrust the stewardship of these conservation easements with the Geneva Lake Conservancy.”
Lynn Ketterhagen, manager of Land Protection and Operations for the Geneva Lake Conservancy, said, “The Conservancy is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with our new conservation easement landowners and the farmers working on these properties. We hope to be able to collaborate with everyone involved to increase the awareness of preserving farmland in our County. The Conservancy now holds more than 1,900 total acres of natural lands under permanent protection, spanning over 27 properties, and we continue to see the potential for protecting many more properties in our lakes area.”
The American Farmland Trust is the nation’s leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. For more information, visit www.farmland.org, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmericanFarmland or Twitter www.twitter.com/farmland.