Lands We've Protected

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Aug 2, Forever Farmland Supper ----------------------------------------
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Lands We've Protected

To date, ASA has assisted landowners with the conservation of 17,160 acres on 110 properties!

Since its inception in 1990, the Agricultural Stewardship Association has helped landowners protect a variety of lands throughout Washington and Rensselaer counties. Regardless of their size, location, or type of easement, the unifying characteristic of these properties is that they are working lands, actively used for agriculture or forestry. Check out our maps of conserved land in Washington and Rensselaer counties.

Fort Ann Battlefield

160 acres in the Town of Fort Ann

Civil War Trust donates an easement at Fort Ann Battlefield - A victory for historians and conservationists



“The preservation opportunity at Fort Anne is exactly why the Civil War Trust created Campaign 1776, our national initiative to protect battlefields of the Revolution and War of 1812. We are proud to partner with ASA and the Town of Fort Ann to save this picturesque and historic significant New York battleground.” – Clint Schemmer, Civil War Trust


Thomas Organic Dairy

170 acres in the Town of Easton

Where even the cows have a million dollar view

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In today's economy, $13,000 doesn't go very far. It could buy a reliable used car, part of a new roof, an exotic vacation, or if you're a dairy farmer like Cody Thomas, five or six cows. Today, Cody, alongside his parents Lloyd and Tammy Thomas, operates Thomas Organic Dairy, a 169 acre farm in Easton. In 1953, $13,000 was what Cody's grandfather paid for this Route 40 farm.


Fuller Acres

307 acres in the Town of Fort Ann

 Ensuring a Future for a Millennial Generation

4  Summer17 ASA FullerAcres CowsLandscape17LawrenceWhite FOR WEBDouglas Fuller has spent his entire life dairy farming, and couldn't imagine living any other way. All through high school he woke up and helped his father milk their 20 cows before getting on the school bus (that his father drove). Then he'd come home after school and do it again in the evening.


"When I was a teenager, there were 15 other dairy farms in this valley. Now we're on of two that remain." - Douglas Fuller  


Happy Kids Farm

17 acres in the Town of Jackson

Happy Kids Come From Cambridge

Happy kids for webIt would be an understatement to say that agriculture is deeply rooted in the history of the McLenithan Family. For close to 100 years, the land along State Route 313 in Jackson just outside Cambridge has been farmed, whether for cattle or crops, by someone with the last name of McLenithan.

About 15 years ago, in an effort to protect the land from development, the McLenithan family sold 515 acres in what is now known as Eldridge Swamp State Forest, to New York State. Patrick and Peggy McLenithan bought the remaining unprotected 17 acre parcel a few years later. According to Patrick, had his family known that ASA would become the organization it is today, it is likely they would have protected the entire 532 acres with a conservation easement instead of selling it to the State.


Laughing Earth

175 acres in the Town of Brunswick

 Millenials farming just 15 minutes from the City of Troy

Chickens in pasture for webDaily commuters know the 175-acre Laughing Earth Farm in Brunswick, just a 15 minute drive from Troy, as the place with all the chickens strolling in the fields near the road. What they may not know is that the farm also raises pastured turkeys and pork as well as vegetables. And that Zack and Annie Metzger, a new generation of farmers, is now on the land.

 "We live in a populated area and we are really happy to know that this land will be here, capable of producing food forever." – Annie Metzger



Scotch Hill Farm

148 acres in the Town of Jackson

Eat it up. He’d love it so!  

Scotch Hill Farm growing vegetables

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Maurice Sendak?  For most people, it’s the book Where the Wild Things Are. Originally published in 1963, this award-winning book has sold millions of copies and is as popular today as it was more than 50 years ago. In fact, President Obama and the First Lady read it aloud at the annual Easter Egg Roll. But what many don’t know is that Sendak often drew inspiration from author and illustrator Beatrix Potter, not only for her story telling ability but also for her farmland conservation work in Northern England.


“This easement is an extension of Maurice’s wish to be like Beatrix Potter. To work with an organization that can literally make your dreams come true, now that’s exciting!” – Lynn Caponera


Philpott Farm

154 acres in the Town of Hoosick

From Railroads to Retirement

Haying at the Philpott FarmWith the protection of the Philpott Farm, there will now be a block of nearly 1,500 agricultural acres conserved along the Hoosic River in New York and Vermont. Contiguous blocks of farmland strengthen the long-term agricultural viability of the area as well as the individual farms. Farmers have the security of knowing that there will be land available for farming, while large blocks of farmland minimize potential conflicts with non-farming neighbors. Additionally, these large blocks enable neighboring farms to work collaboratively and exchange resources.


Preserving the agricultural heritage of our community and keeping this land available for farming in the future has always been our goal.” – Carleton Philpott


Deep Roots Holsteins

340 acres in the Town of Kingsbury

Farmland for the Next Generation
By protecting their land, Donna and Albert Marns gained new security for their family farm's future.

Marns Family Spring 2015When a neighboring farm came up for sale, Hudson Falls dairy farmers Albert and Donna Marns knew right away that they needed to try to buy it. They had been renting the farm's land, and it was important for their operation. "There was a developer looking at it, and it was right next door," says Albert.

Good quality farmland is at a premium in this corner of Washington County, where the Marns currently milk 200 cows on their Deep Roots Farm. Not far from Queensbury, farmland in their area is in demand for housing lots. They had already seen a neighboring farm fall to a developer and didn't want to see it happen again. "When they built a house on that neighboring farm, I cried," says Donna.


Healy Lake Farm

115 acres in the Town of White Creek

A Farm United and Preserved


Sophia Healy at Healy Lake FarmIn October, Sophia Healy realized a decades-long dream of seeing her beloved White Creek farm permanently protected.


Sophia Healy, an artist, novelist and native Vermonter, first visited White Creek in the early 1960s. Right away, she fell in love with the town and its people and knew it was a place where she wanted to put down roots. "I went back to North Bennington and told my friends I found this town and I want to live there," she says.
She started renting a 1788 farmhouse from a local farmer for $50 a month. You reached it by travelling over a charming bridge that crossed Little White Creek, the beautiful trout stream. At the time, only one room of the dilapidated house was habitable, but that didn't diminish her fondness for the place.
"When I moved here in '61, it was fantastic," Sophia recalls, sitting in the kitchen of that same farmhouse today, which she has since restored. "I just loved this place so much. I was so happy here. I love farming and the people here, and the incredible environment—it's so beautiful."



Hand Melon Farm

419 acres in the Town of Easton 

The fruit of their labor is as sweet as ever. And Forever.

John Hand with Hand MelonJohn knew that conserving the land was going to be a lengthy process, but with the proceeds he would receive from conserving his farm, he could make some major investments in the irrigation system, solar panels and ensure that his family legacy would carry on. “It’s an exciting time on the farm,” John says, “It has taken six years but it’s all coming together at the same time.”

John has already left the county sand pile in better condition than he found it. With no debt, a state-of-the-art irrigation system, and no power bill for the next 30 years, John thinks his Dad would approve. And you can see it all in action during this upcoming strawberry picking season in June.


Hawk View Farm

167 acres in the Town of Greenwich

Hawk View Farm - Mary Ellen Williams for web

Mary Ellen and Norm Williams bought Hawk View Farm (in Greenwich, NY) from Willard Reid in 1977. From the top of the hill behind the house to the West is a panoramic view of the Adirondacks. There is an equally splendid view of the Green Mountains to the East. Willard told the Williams that once, while plowing his fields with a team of horses, he had been able to count 49 other plow teams from the top of that hill.

The Williams are only the third family to live on the farm. When they bought the house, there was no one living there except wild critters. The house had a foot of water in the basement, early Edison lighting and no insulation. The main draw was the fact that the house and barns had not been modernized.


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Kitty Highstein donates

125 acres in the Town of Salem

Over 30 years ago, while reading the morning paper, Jene and Kitty Highstein saw an interesting property for sale, a house and 125-acres of mostly forested land located on Bogtown Road in Salem, NY. While a second home was not in their plans, a place just a few hours from New York City seemed like a perfect weekend get-away. It would also provide some much needed serenity.

What they found on their first visit to the farm was undisturbed beauty.  Recalling her first impressions of the property, Kitty said, “We fell in love with it from the moment we saw it. The bog is so beautiful and the animal habitat it creates was very important to us. We knew right then we wanted to preserve this special place.”


McArthur-Sauert Farm

155 acres conserved in the Town of Greenwich

ASA FiskeFarm RedBarnSilo13LWhitePhoto

ASA closed the deal to conserve its 100th farm property, the McArthur-Sauert Farm on County Route 77 in Greenwich, NY. This historic farm, a beautiful landmark in Washington County, has been in agricultural production since before the Civil War. The farm was a successful dairy operation for most of the 100 years it has been owned by Joan McArthur-Fiske’s family.


Collins Family Farm

198 Acres conserved in town of Easton

Collins Family for Website


Sitting in a rocking chair on the porch of the Collins' farmhouse in the spring, the smell of freesia, lilacs and roses in intoxicating and the view of the Hudson River is striking. The Saratoga National Battlefield is visible from several vantage points around the farm. These 198 acres have been in farm production since 1739, forty years before Benedict Arnold betrayed the colonists just down the river at West Point. Over time, the farm became a working dairy that remained in operation until the 1960's. Five generations of Jill Collins' ancestors have worked these highly productive flat crop fields and pasturelands for over 100 years.


Fedler Family Farm

158 Acres conserved in town of Easton

Fedler Farm for Web

Since 1995, Hugh and Cassie Fedler have run a 200-head dairy operation off Route 372 in Cambridge. They milk 100 cows and sell to Agri-Mark. For a long time they relied on rented land to support their dairy, including a 156-acre piece of land along the Battenkill in Easton, just outside the Village of Greenwich, which provided critical acreage for raising corn and hay and pastureland for the heifers.


Buckland Farms

234 Acres conserved in town of SchaghticokeASA BuckFarm ElevatedRedHousView13LWhitePHoto

Buckland Farm, primarily a dairy and crop operation, has also been home to many horses throughout its history. Walt, former Conservationist of the Year, can tell you about the importance of maintaining good agricultural land.  Thanks to the farm’s excellent soils, Walt’s efforts to improve those soils, and Ruth’s additional acres, Walt has been able to provide feed for his livestock as well as sell corn and hay to other farmers. As evidence of this good stewardship, abundant beavers, geese and ducks also enjoy a great lifestyle on the farms. 


Ruth Hill Farm

October 2013 - 195 Acres Conserved in Schaghticoke

ASA HillFamilyPortrait Horiz13LWhitePhoto

Neighbors Ruth Hill and Walter Buck fought off offers from developers to buy their adjoining farms for years.  Part of what motivated them was the breathtaking 360-degree view from the highest point on Ruth farm, one of Ruth’s most beloved places on earth. (Just as breathtaking is a toboggan ride down Ruth’s hill in the winter!)

Sandwiched between the towns of Schaghticoke and Valley Falls, the Ruth Hill and Buckland farms are very special, not only to both families, but also to many in the community.


ReissReiss Property

December, 2012 - Conserved 47 acres in Shushan

New York City residents Marcia and Charlie Reiss were visiting the track in Saratoga when they saw an ad for a canoe trip outfitter and decided to take a paddle down the Battenkill. They enjoyed it so much they drove back the next day to explore the region's back roads and discovered the home of their dreams for sale on Roberson Road in Shushan. It was a Greek revival built in 1840 with 47 acres of high quality farmland along the Battenkill, which has been in agricultural production since before the Revolutionary War.


BreeseHollowBreese Hollow Dairy

May, 2012 - Conserved 164 acres in Hoosick

Chuck and Diane Phippen originally came from a suburban community in the Hartford, Connecticut area. They shared an interest in agriculture and Chuck found a job with a local farmer milking once a week. He often brought his children along and remembers it as a "big adventure" that got them started on the road to becoming dairy farmers. They bought a farm in Central New York, but their goal was to raise grass fed cows and conditions there weren't quite right.


SlocumSlocum Farm

May, 2012 - Conserved 322 acres in Easton

Sitting in the kitchen of Ed Slocum's family farmhouse on Route 40 in Easton, I asked Ed when his family moved there. He said, "Oh, I think it was about 1950 that we came here." I asked where they'd come from and he replied drily, pointing behind him, "Over on the mountain road." Remembering the farm his family used to own, Ed said, "They built a mansion up there. I decided I didn't need such stuff here."He's an Easton farmer through and through and so were his father and grandfather before him. Ed's family has been farming here as long as he can remember, and long before there was electricity.


Clark Family FarmClark Family

December 2011 - Conserved 240 acres in Jackson and Petersburgh

Guy “Skip” Clark appreciates the value of good cropland. He’s a third generation dairy farmer and says that when his grandfather bought the family farm on Ashgrove Road in Cambridge in 1919 there were 29 small dairy farms in operation there. A neighbor picked up cans of milk from each family to bring to town daily. They started with 14 cows and farmed through the depression, although Skip says they almost couldn’t hold onto the land.


Hooskip farmHooskip Farm

December 2011 - Conserved 343 acres in Petersburgh and Hoosick

John McMahon proudly shows off his mounted collection of arrowheads which have all been found on his 714-acre farm located along the Hoosic River on Indian Massacre Road in Petersburgh and straddling the Vermont state border. A state historian has determined that some in the collection date back as far as 6,000 years. John explains, “My son Dan plows deep. Because of the rich, deep river-bottom soil here, you can plow 12” instead of the usual 8”and we’re always turning up arrowheads. People have been hunting, fishing and living here for a long time because it’s such a fertile valley. It’s also a great place to farm. ”


ZagoreosJermain Hill Farm

December, 2011 - Donated an easement on 319 acres in White Creek

Alex Zagoreos is clearly proud to be milling the 7" x 7" beams needed to repair the barn sills at Jermain Hill Farm in White Creek. "It's such a pleasure when you're able to take the timber right from your own woods and see it transformed for use on the farm." He and his wife Marine and several partners bought this beautiful 319-acre farm, which connects the Mount Tom State Reforestation Area to the Little White Creek, in 1977.


CannonStoryCannon Cattle Ranch

October, 2011 - Protected 391 acres in Pittstown

“I was supposed to go to Yale and become a lawyer,” admits Matt Cannon, who grew up in a non-farming family in a suburb of Boston. “But I liked cows and the farming lifestyle and it was never a question what I wanted to do”. When he was 15 he spent a summer working on a local chicken farm and the next summer on a dairy farm in Lowville, NY where he developed his love for cows. From there he got a job at a dairy farm in Tunbridge, VT and went on to receive his degree in dairy herd management at Vermont Technical College.


StewartFarmStoryStewart Farm

Conserved final 234 acres in May, 2011 - Easton

“We’re in the dairy business and we’re going to stay in the dairy business”. Despite many hardships and challenges faced in more than 50 years of farming, Cliff Stewart is still passionate about how he and his family make their living. In 1959, he and his wife Janet bought Autumn View Acres on Route 40 in Easton on contract from a man who continued to live upstairs for a number of years until their family expanded. The Stewarts were just getting started with a small herd of 27 cows and the first of six children on the way.


BraymerFarmStoryBraymer Farm

October 2010 - Protected 145 acres in Salem


“If Evelyn said the farm dates back to the Revolutionary War times, believe her.”

That was the response I received from the town historian when I questioned him about the age of Evelyn Braymer’s farm. The 145-acre farm on County Route 153 in Salem sits on a hill overlooking farm fields in all directions. The barns on her property date back to the 18th century and were likely built around the time of Salem’s founding in 1761. She has an astounding memory of life growing up with farming in Washington County as well as many insightful things to say about the state of agriculture today.


Stone Wall Hill Farm

Conserved 108 acres in December 2009, Stephentown



Stone Wall Hill Farm, home of “The Berry Patch” is permanently protected

The loyal customers of The Berry Patch in Stephentown got a fabulous Christmas present when their neighborhood produce farm was permanently protected on December 22, 2009. The fields and farm store owned by Dale Riggs and Don Miles are well known in the area, and the conservation project generated broad community support. Over 100 people directly contributed about $13,000 to help with project costs and to ensure that this part of their valley would always remain in agriculture.


Robe-Jan Farm

120 Acres Conserved in Schaghticoke



This January, ASA was pleased to start the New Year by helping the Herrington family complete protection of their 120-acre Robe-Jan Farm in Schaghticoke.


Brotherhood Farms

Final 302-Acre Portion of Brotherhood Farms
Town of Easton


George C. Houser Jr. Conserves the Final 302-Acre Portion of the 1,030-Acre Brotherhood Farms in Easton


St. Croix Farm

Conserved 688.47 acres on December 31, 2008
Town of Schaghticoke

St. Croix Farm

This farm is well known for its rich history, quality soils, and scenic beauty, and now has the further distinction of being the largest farmland conservation project in Rensselaer County.

St. Croix is a 688-acre farm in northern Rensselaer County with fertile soils and frontage on the Hoosick River. The farm has a long and colorful history. It began as part of an enormous land grant given to the Van Rensselaer family by the Dutch government. In its current dimensions of roughly a square mile, St. Croix has been in continuous cultivation since the 1780’s under a succession of just four families. The beautiful farmhouse was built in the 1860’s, while the large barns were constructed very early in the 20th century. These structures, now used by the third and fourth generations of the Moore family, stand as testaments to the ongoing productivity of the farm.


Ives Hill

Conserved 116 acres on May 1, 2008
Town of Easton

Ives Hill

This beautiful farmland was conserved by ASA with help from the Castanea Foundation. It has now been purchased at its agricultural value by neighboring farmers as support land for their dairy operation.


Cary Farm

Conserved 203.27 acres on May 13, 2008
Town of Easton

Cary Farm

Collaboration between ASA and the Castanea Foundation allowed this farm to be purchased, conserved, and then sold at its agricultural value to the Michel family, a multigenerational family who had everything they needed for farming except their own land.


Underwood Property

Conserved 40 acres on September 26, 2008
Town of Hebron

Underwood Property

John and Peg Underwood, working together with ASA and the Battenkill Conservancy, protected their productive forested property on a tributary of the Battenkill River, thus assuring that it will remain working land for generations to come.


Tiashoke Farm

Conserved 342.92 acres on September 29, 2008
Town of Easton

Following the lead of their parents whose farm was protected a year earlier, the three Ziehm brothers conserved their newly acquired farm in order to be able to realize the dream of farming in Washington County.


Sanders' Property

Conserved 371.83 acres on December 23, 2008
Town of Salem

Derial Sanders generously donated a conservation easement on a magnificent parcel of land which supports abundant wildlife on its prominent hilltops, managed forestland, and working fields.


October Farm

47 Acres Conserved Town of Jackson

Mahoney Family Protects Historic Farmstead in Jackson

mahoneyMark T. and Quimby Mahoney have lived for many years in southeastern Massachusetts, where Mark has a carpentry and construction business.  They wanted to retire to this area to be nearer to one of their daughters and her family, and their search for a new home ended when they found the former Ed Levin property.



The Latest NEWS

Happy kids for web

Happy Kids Farm

Patrick and Peggy McLenithan donate their development rights on Happy Kids Farm to ASA. "I couldn't see it destroyed. It would have eaten my soul. This land is meant to be farmed."  - Patrick


1 Summer17 FullerAcres Couple17LawrenceWhite

Fuller Acres

"When I was a teenager, there were 15 other dairy farms in this valley. Now we're one of two that remain." – Douglas Fuller

Learn more...

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Thomas Organic Dairy

"I would like to come back 100 years from now and see all of our neighbors still farming. I'd like to see agriculture on Route 40 thriving." - Tammy Thomas



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