The HVADC Cultivator
Incubator Without Walls Client Spotlight - Laughing Earth Farm
It’s no secret that farming is a tough job. That passion, dedication and lots of hard work are essential goes without saying, but for young farmers, even those that are successful, that is not always to enough to enable them to fulfill the dream of owning their own farm. Farmland, particularly in the Hudson Valley, is often priced out of reach of many farmers.
Thankfully, the Hudson Valley also comes with its share of organizations willing and able to assist farmers with this process. Beginning in 2014, HVADC, along with the Agricultural
Stewardship Association, Scenic Hudson and Equity Trust began working with Annie and Zack Metzger, a young couple with over 20 years of farming experience between them, to help them realize their dream of owning their own farm. On December 22nd, 2016, this dream became a reality and Laughing Earth Farm is now preserved in perpetuity.
It took the efforts of many different players to bring about this happy ending. HVADC assisted Annie and Zach by funding the work of Jerry Cosgrove. Jerry is a lawyer with over 25 years of experience working in farmland conservation, land access, farm transfer and agricultural development issues.
"HVADC supported our inter-generational (but non-family) transfer of our farm by providing a grant for 75% of our legal fees related to the transfer. With such a generous level of support, we brought in an experienced facilitator, Jerry Cosgrove, to keep the transfer running smoothly. Unfortunately, we hit a wall during the transfer; and it was Jerry that kept communication open between both sides and helped us to find an acceptable outcome for both parties. Once we moved past this hurdle, we received help through HVADC to navigate the legal process of protecting our farm with a conservation easement stewarded by the Agricultural Stewardship Association. We are really grateful to have had access to expert advice and support during our farm transition, and credit HVADC with making that attainable and ultimately very affordable!" – Zach Metzger, Laughing Earth Farm
We are honored and proud to have been a part of the team that supported Annie and Zach in their dream of owning and preserving Laughing Earth Farm. Contact us and see how we can creatively work together to improve your business. HVADC strives to enhance the bottom line of farm businesses and strengthen the agricultural industry as a whole.