The Opportunity to Conserve 124 acres of Agricultural Land
The Forest Society is working to purchase a conservation easement on 124 acres of high-quality agricultural land on Long and Water Streets in Boscawen from the Morrill family. The Morrill Dairy Farm has been in operation for nearly a century, today owned by Rob and Sherri Morrill, who work together on the farm with their sons, Andy, Kevin, and Ryan, and daughter Kim.
The farm was founded in 1925 in Penacook, New Hampshire, has won national awards, and is well known for its red and white Holsteins. Currently, the Morrills are milking 140 cows and have a total of just over 500 cows on the farm. The farm owns or leases over 1,000 acres of land in Penacook, Concord, and Boscawen on which it produces corn, hay and other grains. The Forest Society already holds conservation easements on several pieces of land either owned or leased by Morrill Dairy Farm.
Beyond the dairy operation the family shows dairy cattle at events and auctions, and also runs a successful feed business, selling forage to other dairies in the area.
The 124-acre property is an important agricultural component of Morrill Dairy Farm’s larger land holdings in the Capitol Region. As with all dairy farms, there is always a concern over fluctuating milk prices and one of the farm's largest assets is its land. This land, while not now contemplated for sale, would be the first for the family to consider selling if the financial need arose, because it is dry, with nearly a mile of road frontage and outstanding views of Mt. Kearsarge. It would be a highly developable property.
Water and Wildlife—The agricultural fields and brushy edges provide important habitat for ground nesting birds like woodcock and turkey. In addition, the property's wildlife resources are greatly enhanced by over 1,800 feet of frontage on Little Pond and 13 acres of wetlands. Little Pond hosts geese, ducks, heron and other species that utilize shallow marsh habitat.
Recreational Access—Currently, the public uses the property for hunting and fishing. The conservation easement will guarantee this public use of the land.
Connectivity—The property is located in an area with a high number of other local farms and abuts the 144-acre Cummings Easement held by the town. There are other potential farm properties nearby interested in exploring conservation easements as well. The Town’s Conservation Commission is focusing its efforts in this area to conserve farmland.
Please join us in making this conservation vision a reality!
The Forest Society has secured $398,000 towards the overall fundraising goal of $408,000 for this project - so we are just $10,000 from reaching our goal! To date, funding has been committed through the NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, the NH Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), the Town of Boscawen’s Conservation Commission and the Merrimack Conservation Partnership. The balance needed has been contributed by private individuals and now the Forest Society has just $10,000 left to raise in order to purchase the easement and cover project and stewardship expenses. Please join us in protecting this critical link of farm and forestland in New Hampshire by making a donation today - every dollar makes a difference!