S. Windsor preserves 50 farm acres

BY Gregory Seay

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
The town of South Windsor says about 50 acres of rich farmland within its borders will be permanently set aside for agricultural use.

Mayor M. Saud Anwar and state Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky announced Wednesday the joint acquisition for more than $700,000 of development rights to the acreage owned by the Shepard family, located on the east side of Main Street and the southern side of Pleasant Valley Road.

The rights were acquired under the state's voluntary Farmland Preservation Program.

The farm has four tobacco sheds, plus the historic Adler-Dobkin warehouse on Main Street, used for production of a variety of crops.

Anwar said the town contributed $245,500 -- which town voters approved in a 2012 open space referendum -- to the state's $462,254 share, to purchase the development rights from the Shepards. The town placed a conservation easement on the acreage, permanently restricting its use for agriculture only.

The Shephards also recently set aside about 60 acres of farmland fronting the Connecticut River under the state preservation program.

"The Connecticut River Valley contains some of the best agricultural soils in the country," Reviczky said in a statement. "South Windsor's history is steeped in the fertility of this land. Preserving the best of the best soils for future generations to farm is critical to maintaining a high quality of life for the community and entire state of Connecticut."