Farmland in Kings County, NS, is being preserved for future generations of farmers. Paul and Marilyn Cameron of Grafton are the first landowners to donate an agricultural easement to the Annapolis Valley Farmland Trust Society. This easement will ensure that more than 20 acres of agricultural land remains available for farming forever and that non-farming activities are restricted.
Trust Chairperson Brian Newcombe, a 9th generation farmer, commented:
It is important to know that there will be agricultural land available for future generations. The Trust is grateful to landowners such as the Cameron family for taking action to ensure we will have farmland permanently preserved.
Paul and Marilyn Cameron expressed their gratitude to the work of the Trust:
We are so grateful to the Trust for all of the hard work to ensure that our farm’s soils will be protected infinitely into the future. We hope that many other landowners will take the opportunity to place an easement on their land to conserve it for agriculture. Farmland is at risk of being lost to development and the Trust needs our help to carry out its work to protect it.
The Trust is actively negotiating easements for more than 250 acres of active agricultural land in Kings County. It anticipates having more than 150 total acres under protection in 2016.
The Board of Directors and Committees are comprised of farmers and investment, accounting and legal professionals. The Trust was incorporated in September 2009 after several years of planning, and has been conducting fundraising activities since that time. The Provincial Department of Agriculture and the Municipality of the County of Kings assisted with seed funds, and significant private commitments have also been received. Legislation was enacted in July 2013 which has enabled the Trust to acquire easements from landowners who choose to preserve their lands for agriculture. The Trust evaluates the lands and negotiates the content of the easement with the landowner, who receives a charitable tax receipt for the value of the donated easement.
“Agriculture is an important part of the provincial economy, and the backbone of our rural communities. It accounted for more than $385 million in exports in 2015, a 21 per cent increase over 2014, and we want this success to continue,” said Nova Scotia Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell. “Preserving farmland supports growth in our agriculture sector and contributes to a sustainable future for Nova Scotia.”
The Annapolis Valley Farmland Trust Society is a charitable non-government organization based in Kentville, NS, that promotes and facilitates the preservation of farmland for a productive and sustainable future.