West Virginia Agrarian Commons raising money to purchase farmland

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – New Roots Community Farm is working with Agrarian Trust, a national 501C3 land trust, to fundraise and purchase eighty-two acres of farmland in Fayette County. The farmland is the Whitlock farm located along route 16 just outside of Fayetteville. The farm is owned by the county’s Farmland Protection Board who purchased the farm in order to preserve the land for agriculture.

“They are holding it now, they need to sell it to continue to fund their farmland conservation program,” Agrarian Trust Director Ian McSweeney. “We are raising the money to acquire it from the county and then hold it in this community centered nonprofit agrarian commons entity in West Virginia.”

Once the land is acquired by the West Virginia Agrarian Commons, the land will be leased out in ninety-nine year lease tenures to New Roots Community Farm and other local farmers. New Roots Community Farm works with local farms in the New River Gorge region to help farmers distribute their food products around the state. The farm is currently on the eighty-two acre property and once purchased will be able to continue to work with specialty crop farmers and year round vegetable production.

“It makes up a very small percentage of the farmers here in this region,” said Farm Director of New Roots Community Farm and President of West Virginia Agrarian Commons Susanna Wheeler. “We see it as a potentially good fit for capitalizing on the local food movement and being able to develop vegetable farm operations that can support better on small acre holdings.”

In order to acquire the farmland from the county the agrarian commons needs to raise $258,000. The fundraiser launched two months ago and so far has raised over $65,000. The plan is to raise the funds from now through the spring and purchase the farm this summer.

For more information about the project and to make a donation visit the link here.

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