Thursday, February 11, 2016

Our Farm's Future

Rural Resources entrusts future of the farm with Foothills Land Conservancy

It's not a takeover. It's a land trust to ensure the Rural Resources farm remains a space for agricultural and educational use in perpetuity. 

"We have put a conservation easement on the land is to ensure that it remains undeveloped with houses and buildings, beyond what has been initially stipulated, for forever," said Rural Resources’ Executive Director Sally Causey. "As Rural Resources moves forward, we will be able to develop a productive agriculture and education space without the worries of development pressure."

The easement is being held by Foothills Land Conservancy, which just completed a record year with 7,000 acres conserved. Rural Resources made up 15.17 acres of the total land conserved. 

"The easement essentially means that they own the development rights for this piece of land," Causey said. "Our future new building and other agricultural/educational structures are allowed like the pavilion being built now with support from Greeneville’s Noon and Morning Rotary Clubs."

The Rural Resources property was formerly owned by the Childress family. 
"Watt and Larry Childress, who inherited the farm from their grandfather, Lawrence “Jimmy” Dobson, established the organization in response to the rapid loss of farmland they observed and desired their four-generation farm and others to be preserved," according to Foothills Land Conservancy Communications Director Elisa Eustace. "Rural Resources is dedicated to the education and training of youth in environmentally sound farming practices and teaching them to run a farm or food related business. The organization plans to continue utilizing the property in a manner that allows for sustainable agricultural practices and supports educating the community for an agrarian way of life into the future."

The easement doesn't have financial benefits for Rural Resources, but it would have tax benefits for families and for-profit businesses. 

"We have done this to let other farm and land owners to know what's possible and to know they have this possibility of preserving their land for future generations to farm and enjoy in its natural state," Causey said. “I am also grateful to Marshall Peterson of Holbrook, Peterson & Smith in Knoxville for his volunteer help and guidance throughout the process of purchasing the land and establishing the conservation easement.”

More information about Rural Resources’ farm and programming is online at and on Facebook.

For more information about how to begin the process of conserving land, call Foothills Land Conservancy at 865-681-8326 or go online to