MORGAN — Jim and Sharlyn Jordan’s farm is well-known, with its extensive fields running along both sides of Route 111 for 1.5 miles, just east of Lake Seymour. The land has long been used as a dairy farm.
Jim’s father, a veterinarian, started the family business in the 1950s. He bought 500 acres and built a barn for 65 Jersey cows. Jim worked alongside him, and took over the business when his father passed away.
Jim and Sharlyn have since owned and operated Lake Seymour Farm, expanding it by 100 acres and adding onto the barn with a milking parlor and bunker silos. Their herd now has 240 mature cows, plus young stock.
The Vermont Land Trust recently purchased a conservation easement from the Jordans with funding from the Freeman Foundation. This legal agreement protects the land for agriculture by limiting development and subdivision.
The Jordans are also working with the Vermont Land Trust’s Farmland Access program to find a buyer who will keep the land in active agricultural use. This program connects farmers with affordable farmland for new and growing businesses.
Since 2004, the program has helped nearly 60 farm businesses emerge, create local products, and add jobs.
“Jim and Sharlyn have always taken a lot of pride in their land, and they’re not the only ones who want to see it remain a farm,” said Jon Ramsay, the Farmland Access Program director for the Vermont Land Trust. “It’s one of those keystone farms that everyone in the area knows.”
When the farm originally went on the market, many in the community were concerned about what would happen to it. The Lake Seymour Association is happy with the conservation outcome, as are many who live near the lake or enjoy swimming, walking, fishing, and boating there.
“The water in the lake is clean right now, and we’d like to see it stay that way,” said Jim Jordan. “It’s good to keep this land in farming and not see it developed because it’s so close to the lake.”
Jim also said people know the farm if they ride the VAST trail, which passes through the woods on his property.