Shortly after Rob Spoon and Alix Kreuger were married in August of 2000, they began thinking about ways to preserve the farmland they owned.
The property, an ecologically diverse and beautiful farm, has been in Rob’s family since they first settled in what is now Amboy, NY in the 1700s.
“My connection to this place runs deep,” explains Rob. “My great, great, great grandfather Peter Spoon first established the farm. Over the years it grew as family members acquired additional acreage adjacent to the original property into the 450-acre property it is today.”
Rob remembers his grandfather using horses to farm, something Rob would often comment on. “I think about that. He was farming with horses and there were times when I struggled to run our dairy farm with a tractor.”
Now in their 60s, after a life of farming, Rob and Alix began to seek a suitable buyer; a farmer who would continue to farm and one who shared their commitment to the land.
Farmland protection and the next generation
Rob’s niece Brandy had once lived on the family farm and recently bought a small farm up the road. She started raising beef and was looking to expand her operation to a more sustainable scale. The Spoon farm was ideal for pasturing cows and increasing hay production.
“Selling the land, conserved, to a local farmer is a great feeling,” explains Alix. “With Brandy owning our family farm, we will still be able to be involved in farming. Our conservation easement is flexible, so Brandy and our family can continue to develop a sustainable farming operation and possible agritourism endeavors.”
The decision to conserve their land seems like a no-brainer now, but that wasn’t always the case.
“Like other farmers, I was concerned that an easement would mean that someone else would be telling our family how to farm the land. In conversations with land trust staff, I realized that an easement would be a great way to protect our ancestral land and ensure it could be well cared for,” reflected Rob. “We appreciate that the next generation will now be able to continue our family’s farming legacy.”