Waddle Farm, Smyth County

Several years ago, a neighbor asked Shelley Waddle if she and her husband, Jeff, had ever considered protecting their 1,158-acre Saltville farm from development with a conservation easement. She was skeptical at first. “We didn’t understand the process, the terminology,” says Shelley, a farmer and schoolteacher who was born and raised in Smyth County. “Once […]

Shenandoah easement donor: “We’re going to take care of the land”

Growing up, Wade Hawkins watched neighboring farms be developed throughout the 1990s. His father and grandfather tried to purchase and save some of them, but couldn’t compete with developers. Wade didn’t want his family’s farm to suffer a similar fate, so he protected the land with a VOF easement.

Survey finds VOF easements largely protecting working farms and forestland

A new survey of 631 landowners who granted conservation easements to the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) since 2000 reveals that landowners are primarily managing those lands for agricultural production and/or forestry, and that they are reinvesting many of the tax credits they receive from the state back into their operations. Virginia established Land Preservation Tax […]

Family protects 350-year-old farm along the Mattaponi River

It’s one thing for a farm to stay intact for 350 years. It’s another thing for a farm to stay in the same family for that long. Next year, Locust Grove will achieve both. The King and Queen farm has been owned and operated by the Walker family since February 26, 1665, when the King […]

VOF protects 700,000th acre with easement on New Kent farm

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation recently protected its 700,000th acre of open space thanks to a conservation easement donated on a 116-acre Bicentennial Farm in New Kent County. It’s VOF’s second easement in New Kent County. The other easement is on Crawfords State Forest. Silver Hall Farm has been owned and operated by the Binns family […]

Craun Farm, Augusta County

Jim Craun celebrated a 100th birthday in June. Not his—his barn’s. The barn is one of several buildings that Mr. Craun has restored on his family’s 165-acre farm in Augusta County. The cavernous interior is barely enough to contain his memories of summers spent working there as a boy, when his grandparents owned the place. […]

White House Farm Foundation, Page County

In 1760, about 30 years before construction began on the White House in the District of Columbia, a Mennonite settler named Martin Kauffman II built his own little White House in Page County, Virginia. Kauffman constructed the building as a residence and Mennonite meeting house, locating it at the foot of the Massanutten Mountains, along […]

Middlesex easement saves family farm, protects seven miles of tidal shoreline

Originally released through the Office of the Governor Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that one of the largest waterfront farms along the lower tidal Rappahannock River has been permanently protected from development by a conservation easement produced through a partnership of the landowner, Minnie K. Burch, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) and the U.S. Department […]