“If the land is sold, it cannot be retrieved. It is gone.”
The Potter Farm has been in my immediate family since 1792 when Fergus Potter received a warrant for approximately 300 acres. Today the farm is comprised of 198 acres– fifty acres woodlot and one hundred twenty acres tillable. Since the farm has always been owned by a Potter, it is more than a “two-century farm.” The farm buildings as well as the farmhouse are in original condition. That is, they have not been added to or expanded since they were built in the mid 1800s. The house is unique in that it was one of the first plank, tilt-up frame houses.
My wife, Elizabeth, and I have lived on the farm for more than thirteen years. It’s the only home that our immediate family really knows. We have been missionaries and pastors in many places so the homes our children knew growing up were only temporary. To be able to place the property in a conservation easement makes it possible for us to keep the property in the family. It is the only way that we can continue to maintain the integrity of the farm, the land and the buildings.
That is not the only reason why the land has been donated for an agricultural easement. The water sources on the farm include many springs, including two that are distant tributaries to the Chesapeake watershed.
We highly recommend pursuing conservation possibilities. If the land is sold, it cannot be retrieved. It is gone. However, with help, the land can be preserved and farmed in perpetuity. That’s a gift to the family and a gift to the community. The process is slow, but rewarding. Mr. Norm Lathbury, of the Centre County Agricultural Land Preservation Board, was encouraging every step of the way.