SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — John v.H. Halsey, President of the Peconic Land Trust, is pleased to announce the sale of 19.2 acres of farmland and associated buildings and structures in Southold to John Murnane, of Olde Road Farm, LLC. The farmstead will be added to the farm’s existing 18 acres. Mr. Murnane is in the early stages of establishing a beef cattle farm operation in Southold.
Mr. Murnane, who grew up on a farm in Ireland and has had a home in Southold for the past 18 years, is planning a small beef operation and currently has 15 wagyu cattle with plans to expand the farm to include sheep and chickens and other crops. His initial plans will be to make repairs to the barns and to plant the fields in grazing crops for his cattle.
“I’ve wanted to get back into farming as I had growing up in Ireland. I’ve been running a construction business and raising five kids with my wife for the past 30 years, and for the last five years have been asking myself, where did the last 25 years go. Having a farm and the beautiful Peconic Bay is the best of both worlds for me and my family. I decided it was time to do what I loved as a kid growing up and maybe slow down a little,” said Mr. Murnane.
The Trust acquired the protected property, located on the northeast corner of Young’s Avenue and Route 48, in March of 2014. The Town of Southold holds a Development Rights Easement on the property. The Trust integrated the property into its Farms for the Future Initiative and the farmland had been a part of the initiative’s leasing program. The Trust issued a Request for Proposals for the sale of the parcel in the fall of 2019.
The 19.2-acre property includes five structures: a Quonset hut, three barns, and a small seasonal farm labor dwelling. The property has been farmed for the past 50+ years in a variety of crops.
The Trust sold the property subject to additional restrictions including an affirmative farming covenant (if the commercial agricultural operation ceases for one year, the farmland must be managed such that it is available for agricultural use in accordance with a Natural Resource Conservation Plan; if the commercial agricultural operation ceases for 2 or more years, the Trust has the right to lease the farmland to another farmer to ensure that it remains in agricultural production) and a requirement that at least 80 percent of the land be used for food production.
“The primary goal of the Trust’s Farms for the Future Initiative is to ensure that farming continues for generations to come by providing farmers, both new and established, with access to affordable farmland. The parcel, which the Trust acquired in 2014, was the perfect opportunity to provide a growing farm operation with a farmstead, one that includes structures and infrastructure in addition to land. We are excited about the opportunities the sale of this land provides and look forward to seeing John Murnane and his team succeed,” said John v.H. Halsey, President, Peconic Land Trust.
“We are excited to see this farmstead have a new life as part of John’s expanding cattle operation. Keeping farmland in active ag, and supporting many different types of farm operations, is important as we all work toward keeping agriculture viable in, and integral to our communities,” said Dan Heston, Director of Agricultural Programs at the Trust.
About Farms for the Future Initiative
The Trust’s Farms for the Future Initiative includes farmland leases, incubator programs, and sales of protected farmland, some with additional restrictions that prohibit non-agricultural uses, promote food production, and limit appreciation. It is critical that farmers have access to affordable farmland in the future as properties appreciate over time. Many of the lessees operate on protected farmland owned by the Trust either at our Agricultural Center at Charnews Farm in Southold or at the Deborah Light Preserve in Amagansett.
Objectives of the Farms for the Future Initiative:
- Keep protected farmland in agricultural production
- Create opportunities for farmers to start‐up and/or expand their agricultural operations
- Promote the diversity of farming and farmers on Long Island
- Encourage food production farming
- Ensure that farmland is available and affordable to farmers
To learn more about this program, please contact Dan Heston, Director of Agricultural Programs, at 631.734.5630 ordheston@PeconicLandTrust.org or Jessie Marcus, Stewardship Manager at 631.283.3195 or jmarcus@PeconicLandTrust.org.
About the Peconic Land Trust
Founded in 1983, Peconic Land Trust conserves Long Island’s working farms, natural lands, and heritage. Since its inception, the nonprofit Trust has worked conscientiously with landowners, communities, municipalities, partner organizations, and donors, to conserve over 13,000 acres of land on Long Island. The Trust’s professional staff carries out the necessary research and planning to identify and implement alternatives to outright development. While working to conserve the productive farms, watersheds, woodlands, and beachfront of Long Island, the Trust is also protecting the unique rural heritage and natural resources of the region. For more information about the Peconic Land Trust, visit peconiclandtrust.org.
–Yvette DeBow-Salsedo, Peconic Land Trust