This project involved generational farm transfer, a transition to organic diversified food production, and the development of a viable and sustainable farm enterprise. The project required a number of partners and steps to bring the full picture to fruition. The Russell Foundation brought together parties, developed the full picture and supported and assisted all aspects of this whole farm protection project. The project involved a conservation easement with federal, state, local and private funding, the first ever Option to Purchase (OPAV) at Agricultural Value restriction in NH, a generational transfer, the development of a farm business. The project partners included Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, Land For Good, the Carrot Project, Farm Credit, USDA/NRCS and others.
“Ian McSweeney, Director of the Russell Foundation, was the guardian angel behind Mount Grace’s multi-year effort to permanently protect Wingate Farm as an affordable farm in perpetuity. As this was our first foray into conservation across state lines in New Hampshire, Ian provided indispensable guidance, technical assistance, and financial support needed to complete this complex and ground-breaking project.”
– Jamie Pottern, Farm Conservation Program Manager, Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust
“Working with Ian has been a wonderful experience to say the least. In a time of big decision making and change for our family and our land, Ian provided the resources we needed to make the well-informed decisions. As a beginning farmer with a new farm business, attempting to maintain my family’s land, Ian was able to connect and provide support with the technical assistance we needed to be more prepared and thoughtful in our business planning. Ian has an incredibly calm, available, and supportive presence, and I feel particularly lucky to have been able to work with him.”
– Olivia Pettengill, land owner and operator of Wingate Farm