Ninety acres of farmland, owned by Frank and Linda Meyer of Eden, has been permanently protected as part of an easement program by the Conservation Service by the Western New York Land Conservancy. The $244,000 project will ensure that the land remains available for agricultural use.
The money included $120,000 from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program; $60,000 from the Nathan Cummings Foundation; $4,000 from the Town of Eden; as well as a bargain sale of the development rights by the owner that reduced the cost by $60,000.
“My great-grandfather purchased this land in the 1800s, and it has been in my mother’s family since that time,” Dr. Frank Meyer said.
While maintaining its history of keeping farms and farmland productive, a process to develop an Agricultural and Farmland Protection Program in 2008 and 2009 showed a renewed interest in farmland protection. The Meyer Farm was among the first identified as a candidate for protection.
“The agricultural community has long hoped the Meyer Farm would be among the first permanently protected parcels in the Town of Eden. Not only is it valuable cropland, but protection of this parcel greatly reduces the likelihood of incompatible residential, commercial or industrial development spreading from the hamlet of Eden northward into the regionally important Eden Valley agricultural area,” John Whitney of the Natural Resources Conservation Service said.
Meyer Farm became the second one in Eden protected under the program. In 2012, the 102-acre Surgenor Farm was protected under the program.
“The Town of Eden’s rich farmland and hardworking farmers make it one of the most historic communities in Western New York. Its agricultural heritage goes back two centuries and many generations. Protecting this heritage is what has and will continue to attract people and businesses to our region,” Eden Town Supervisor Glenn R. Nellis said.