The Annual General Meeting is scheduled for April 6, 2017, at 7 PM in the Seniors’ Room at the Port Williams Community Centre.
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.
To members and past members of the Annapolis Valley Farmland Trust:
Thank you for your present and past interest in the AVFT. Your support during the development years of the Trust is most appreciated. The AVFT was formed in 2010 and provincial legislation was passed in 2013 allowing the existence of Trusts for the purpose of preserving farmland. Your interest, early in the process, was critical in the establishment of the AVFT and allows the Trust now to work with landowners and donors to preserve valuable agricultural land.
We are pleased to share the news that the AVFT has a parcel of land under easement and a second easement will be finalized this year. The official announcement will be made in the coming weeks, however, we wanted to share this news with you, in advance of the public announcement in appreciation of your support for the AVFT and the goal of preserving farmland in the Annapolis Valley.
Attached is the annual report I presented to the Annual General Meeting last month.
The AVFT has both a website and Facebook page that I encourage you to visit.
Brian Newcombe, Chair
Annapolis Valley Farmland Trust
Our Annual General Meeting was held on April 7, 2016.
Charlie Keddy, Brian Newcombe, Janice Lutz and Geoff Muttart will each serve another 3-year term on the Board.
Annual Report AVFTS 2015
The board and its committees have committed hours of volunteer time in 2015 and after many years of patiently working towards building a foundation for the AVFTS, I can proudly say we have a signed agreement that protects the Trust’s first piece of farmland in Nova Scotia. This first farmland easement is an important and historic moment for the Trust and as chair of the board I would like to personally thank all the present and past board members, committees, donors and supports for making this possible. These are exciting times for the AVFTS and for preservation of agricultural land.
The land committee was very busy consulting with a numbers of land owners about having their land put in the farmland trust. Our program manager Gary Morton has been busy with the completion of our first easement and meeting with new potential land owners. Gary’s work on our second farmland property is well under way with hopes of completing it by the end of 2016.
The fundraising committee continues working their first campaign to raise enough funds to complete 5-6 easements. The board appeal was very successful raising approximately $60,000 from past and present board members. The second year of the campaign will focus the broader community and businesses.
Communication committee – Our new website was launched in 2015 and should help us communicate and inform the public and our supporters about the land trust’s activities over the coming years. With the completion of our first easement the committee is working on getting the signage development and printed for the property along with a media package.
Brian and Richard have met with the Agricultural Minister twice over the past 2 years and as a result of these meeting a committee was struck to look at how farmland trusts could help with the preservation of farmland in Nova Scotia. Brian and Richard will be the representatives for the AVFTS on this committee, with a draft report due in the spring 2016.
Brian Newcombe, Chair
Annapolis Valley Farmland Trust
9th Generation Farmer
On April 19th, AVFTS was one of three local charities to present to the recently launched “100 Men Who Give a Damn” for a chance to walk away with a $10,000 donation. This group donates money to local registered charities nominated by their members.