Westchester Land Trust Receives $2 Million Grant to Protect Ryder Farm
WESTCHESTER LAND TRUST (WLT) announced it will permanently
protect Ryder Farm—a 128-acre organic
family farm, which was established in 1795 in the town of Southeast—through the
purchase of a conservation easement that it will hold in perpetuity. This legal
agreement ensures that Ryder Farm will forever remain free from non-farm
development and be reserved for continued agricultural use. The Ryder family
will continue to own and operate the farm. WLT will purchase the development
rights to this property with $2 million in funding provided by Round 18 of the
Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program, a program of the New York
State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
“Safeguarding this land and its inhabitants from development will allow Ryder Farm to continue to serve our community’s agrarian needs and ecological well-being for generations to come,” says Julia Gibson, a member of the Ryder family board and a professor at Antioch University New England. “We could not be more grateful for the steadfast partnership of WLT, who have shepherded us through this process for several years.”
Agricultural production on Ryder Farm plays a crucial role in the regional economy, helping to meet the increasing demand for locally sourced organic produce. Additionally, SPACE at Ryder Farm, a nonprofit artist and agricultural residency program, attracts tourists to the area and provides valuable revenue and patronage at the town’s small businesses and restaurants.