Dedicated to protecting the land essential to Sheffield’s natural, scenic, agricultural and rural character
The Sheffield Land Trust
Celebrating 25 years • 1989-2014
P.O. Box 940, 96 Main St., Sheffield, MA 01257-0940
Phone: 413 229-0234; Fax: 413 229-0239;

Egerton Family Farm

Gavin and Helen Egerton passed away in 2003 leaving their estate in a trust to benefit all four of their children, only one of whom lives on and farms the land. After struggling for two years to find an alternative, Billy, Ann, Margaret and Joy found themselves in the situation that so many families do, determining that the only way to provide for the farm and non-farm siblings, as required by the trust, was to sell the farm. The farm is almost 80 acres, in two parcels, between Route 7 and the Housatonic River in a business-zoned district. With most of the Route 7 corridor already in residential or commercial use, development pressure in this area is strong and realtors had been calling with proposals when the Aragi's, who rent some of the land (and were familiar with the APR program because it enabled them to purchase the Cavalier APR land just down the road to add to their Pine Island dairy operation), suggested that the four siblings hold off on listing the property until exploring one last option--an APR. Without the APR, the four siblings will have to sell the land. Billy and his wife Donna want to continue to grow the corn, pumpkins, flowers and an assortment of other vegetables which the family has traditionally sold from a farm stand they set up in front of the house--taking advantage of their location on the main commercial road through Sheffield. The rest of the farm will continue to be rented to neighboring Pine Island Farm to support its dairy operation. The Pine Island dairy operation is 1100 head, all ages--day olds to milk cows--planting over 800 acres of land of which they own a little more than half, while the rest is rented or leased from an average of ten different landowners a year. As development pressures have continued to grow so has the turn-over rate of rental and leased land to non-agricultural uses. So, this land is essential not only for the Egertons and their farm stand, but for Pine Island's dairy as well. We are raising $138,000 toward the local share of this APR. To make a contribution or pledge, please print and mail our donation or pledge form. Contributions to SLT are tax-deductible. Thank you!