GRP Program Preserves Large Portion of Farm's Grassland
The Stuart Family Farm, located in Bridgewater, Connecticut, has preserved 82 acres of grassland for 10 years under a GRP rental agreement.
The 105 acre farm is a full-time grassland agriculture operation and farm stand. The purebred Polled Hereford herd consists of about 20 mature cows, and 20 yearlings. During the growing season the cattle are on pasture, and in the winter months are loose in a housing barn. Quality hay, all-natural beef, eggs, and a variety of vegetables are produced and sold on the farm.
Owner William Stuart, Jr. rents the land from The Nature Conservancy under a long-term lease. The farm is located along the main stem of the Housatonic River and is part of the large riparian buffer surrounding Lake Lillinonah. The Housatonic River flows south 150 miles from its source in the Town of Washington, Massachusetts, to the shore of Long Island Sound. Lake Lillinonah is formed by a hydroelectric dam constructed across the Housatonic River. The farm's grassland helps to preserve the water quality of the lake and river.
The farm is located in the Connecticut Highlands Region. The U.S. Highlands Conservation Act of 2004 has designated this region as an area to preserve open space for its benefits to water quality protection and passive recreation.