Agrarian Trust

Succession Plan has the Community in Mind

A 153 year-old family farm in Saratoga Springs, NY gets a plan for the future that could include education, a farm incubator and more. From an article Dennis Yusko in The Times Union:

One of the city’s last and best-known farms would be preserved as a community resource under a partnership planned between its owners, a land conservation group and the city.

The Pitney family would sell its 166-acre farm on West Avenue to Saratoga PLAN this fall, and the city would help the nonprofit land trust purchase the property’s development rights so it could remain open space. The land would be used as a community farm and agricultural education center.

The Pitney family has grown food and raised animals on the farm for more than 153 years. The farm is near Saratoga Spa State Park,Saratoga Springs High School and the YMCA, and has been a top conservation priority for more than 20 years, officials said. Maria Trabka, executive director of Saratoga PLAN, announced the partnership plan on Thursday at the farm with members of the family, MayorJoanne YepsenSaratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matthew Veitch, R-Saratoga Springs, and others.

The Pitneys would donate a quarter of the farm’s $2.43 million appraised market value. The city would borrow about $1.2 million and Saratoga PLAN would raise the remaining 25 percent through a capital campaign, Trabka said.

“Our goal is to turn it into a community farm, where people are invited to enjoy community gardens, a farm training center and small farmettes,” Trabka said. “We hope it will become an agricultural hub for the entire region and serve as a place for the farmer’s market.”