Gomo family purchases Crow Hill Farm Vt. Land Trust among agencies aiding conservation plan

The Gomos at Crow Hill Farm. Photos by Abbe Rowlee.

The Vermont Land Trust and Vermont Housing & Conservation Board worked with Greg and Tara Gomo to help them purchase and permanently conserve Crow Hill Farm on Flamstead Road in Chester.

The Gomos are using the land to produce beef, pork, poultry and eggs, and now have an opportunity to expand their business.

The 263-acre farm is 70 years old, and many remember its operation under Donald and Helen Farrar and their family. The Farrars purchased the main farmland in the late 1940s and added parcels over the years. They ran the farm as a dairy with a herd of registered Jerseys.

More recently, their sons Alan and Michael kept beef cows there. After their parents passed away, Alan, Michael and their sisters Linda Keaten and Susan Crocker decided to sell the farm. The family had long been interested in conservation, so they reached out to VLT.

In 2016, VLT purchased the farm through its Farmland Access Program, which helps entrepreneurial farmers find affordable farmland of their own. The Gomos were chosen through a competitive process to find the best new farmers for the land. Greg Gomo had worked for the Farrars years ago, he and Tara had been farming for decades and were established in the area. The Gomos and their daughter Emeillia, live on the farm and also sell hay, and breed and raise Labrador retrievers.

“I remember Greg helping hay 20-plus years ago on the farm,” says Alan Farrar. “I know my parents would be very happy that the Gomos were able to purchase the farm. I am pleased that the farm has been conserved and that a farm family now owns it. I know that Greg and family will be good stewards.”

‘I know my parents would be very happy that
the Gomos were able to purchase the farm.
I am pleased that the farm has been conserved
and that a farm family now owns it.’

Alan Farrar,
Son of previous owners

The Gomos leased the land for nearly two years while VLT held on to it so that money could be raised to support the farm’s permanent conservation. The conservation easement protecting the farmland from development also ensures that the land will always be available to future farmers, thus keeping it in active production.

Says Linda Keaten, “Our parents created a successful farming operation based around respect, diligence and, most importantly, family. … Mom and Dad knew the Gomos well and found their many qualities admirable. … We wish Greg, Tara and their family great success …”

“This farm had been well taken care of and maintained for as long as we can remember by Donald and Helen Farrar and family,” said Tara Gomo. “And now it is our turn.”

Funding for this conservation project came from VHCB, with matching funds from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Financial assistance from VHCB and NRCS help to permanently protect Vermont’s highest quality agricultural resources.

In addition, close to $60,000 was raised from private sources including neighbors and citizens of Chester and surrounding communities.

Crow Hill Farm has 90 acres of farmland and 164 acres of managed forest. There are also wetlands, streams, including two tributaries that eventually flow into the Connecticut River, and wildlife habitat, all of which are now protected.

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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  1. Laura Rutkowski says:

    I remember the Farrar farm and their cows. My grandparents lived down the road on Potash and had 5 gardens and pigs and cows. My brothers and I helped hay my grandfather’s fields. Good to hear the farm is going strong.