Over the past year the organization has made steady progress on a number of fronts in keeping with our mission of preserving agriculture land. The Board has met on a monthly basis (with the exception of the summer months) to ensure the affairs of the organization are maintained in good order. As well the sub committees of the organization fulfill significant responsibilities in keeping operational aspects moving forward.
Currently there are two significant easements progressing thru the process towards completion over the next 6 months. In addition the Trust is in early stages of negotiation regarding four very significant easements some of which are in areas of the Valley under considerable pressure from non-farm development. It will no doubt take over a year to complete these easements and significant fundraising will be required to complete them over the next several years.
Over the past year the Trust has continued to build awareness and profile in the agriculture and wider community throughout Nova Scotia. We have enjoyed good co-operation from Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture in our communications efforts and as well in advocating for policy initiatives that will strengthen our ability to preserve agricultural land. Also this past year we were able to launch a significant awareness and fundraising event called the “100 Mile Picnic and Farm Food Festival”. This event was very successful in 2019 and the event planning is well underway to hold the event in 2020. Notably in 2020 AVLTS will partnering with Kings County Federation of Agriculture in facilitating this event.
As we move into 2020 the Trust is getting expressions of interest from outside the Annapolis Valley regarding having easements placed on their properties. In addition some properties are being presented for easement that having varying proportions of agriculture land and forestry. The Board is currently reviewing options of how to proceed with these properties. This work will continue over the next year. Depending on the direction the Board takes a change to the Memorandum of Association may be required along with associated approvals from CRA regarding maintaining charitable status of our organization.
It is important to acknowledge the support our organization has enjoyed from individual donors, corporate sponsors, volunteers, land owners, farm organizations and numerous others over the past 10 plus years.
In conclusion thanks to all of our Board members who have served faithfully over the past year. It is a great privilege to serve in fulfilling the mission of preserving land for agriculture in perpetuity.
Richard Melvin, Chairperson