Case Studies

Wilkins Family Forest

An eighth-generation family conserves over 520 acres of land in Amherst and Mont Vernon. Tom and Sally Wilkins have continued a long held family tradition of managing their forestlands for timber resources that are utilized in the family-owned and operated sawmill that dates back to 1808. Through assistance from the Russell Farm and Forest Conservation Foundation and many others, the Wilkins family has conserved their land by conveying a conservation easement to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests for many future generations of their family to come. I don’t believe in selling it. I want it to…

High Mowing School – Frye Farm & Temple Wilton Community Farm

A seventh generation family farm was coming to an end. A Waldorf boarding school desired more land to expand their farm and land based programming. The Temple Wilton Community Farm needed to expand their land base to grow the operation. Ian McSweeney brought parties together and negotiated agreements that created an opportunity to achieve multiple goals. Ian then carried forward a project that raised and secured $1,800,000, conserved 150 acres of important land atop Abbot Hill in Wilton, NH, transferred ownership of Frye farm and forest land to High Mowing School, developed a lease to Temple Wilton Community Farm, created…

Pete’s Stand

A multi-generation family owned and operated farm stand with no land security. The farm stand and farmland are located along the state highway through Walpole, NH. Farmland along the state highway is being sold to commercial development with farmland soils removed and impervious surfaces created. Pete’s Stand and the local community were able to conserve some of this farmland and support local food security through protection of important farmland and secure tenure agreement for farming. A partnership with Land for Good, Monadnock Conservancy, Ian McSweeney, 1772 Foundation, and the Thomas Haas Fund at NH Charitable Foundations supported the project.  

Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success (ORIS)

  Ian McSweeney provides support to ORIS’s agriculture and land based programming that supports New American immigrants and refugees, as they pursue self-sufficiency through land based farming enterprises. This support includes developing land tenure opportunities through secure lease agreements and land acquisition, fundraising, partnership development, holistic ecologically focused land management and developing new models for farm incubator programs.   “Ian McSweeney has transformed our organization from a landless non-profit to a land secure entity that has land tenure for our immigrant farmers and our programming. With his professional level of understanding, negotiation skills, knowledge of land laws and real estate…

Nubanusit Neighborhood & Farm

A farm focused family friendly co-housing community in Peterborough wanted to create a long-term sustainable farm partnership. The community had pursued a number of farm endeavors and the lessee farmer was planning to leave. Through consideration by the community and guided discussion and planning from the Ian McSweeney, a vision for the community – farm was developed. Nubanusit Neighborhood & Farm defined the vision as: A reciprocal and complementary relationship: Neighbors nurture the farm and the farm offers the neighborhood food, beauty and connection to each other and the land. This vision allowed the community to engage in discussions with…

Farm to Table

  A partnership between the Russell Foundation and the Farmer’s Dinner raises awareness and support for farm viability and local food through a series a farm to table dinners. The dinners are on location at farms and in support of farms. “Working with Ian McSweeney and the Russell Foundation has been a true pleasure. They care so deeply for the people they work with. When people ask me who is doing important work in the area, the first names out of my mouth are Ian and The Russell Foundation.” – Keith Sarasin Chef/Founder of The Farmers Dinner

Wingate Farm

This project involved generational farm transfer, a transition to organic diversified food production, and the development of a viable and sustainable farm enterprise. The project required a number of partners and steps to bring the full picture to fruition. Ian McSweeney brought together parties, developed the full picture and supported and assisted all aspects of this whole farm protection project. The project involved a conservation easement with federal, state, local and private funding, the first ever Option to Purchase (OPAV) at Agricultural Value restriction in NH, a generational transfer, the development of a farm business. The project partners included Mount…

Temple-Wilton Farm

The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model of farms began with the Temple-Wilton Community Farm (TWCF) and has now grown to over 12,000 in the country (USDA; 2010). This Farm was one of the first two created and is the longest continually operating CSA farm operation in the country. The TWCF is a biodynamic farm that focuses on soil health, animal and food health, and human health through a closed cycle where the animals provide input to benefit soil health and the soils provide benefit to the crops. This allows the Farm to provide year round diversified offerings of nutrient rich…

Dimond Hill Farm

Dimond Hill Farm is a model of how a community can come together to preserve its historic agricultural landscape, local food production, and farm economy. Since 1827, six generations of the Presby family farmed this property before a generational transfer and the need to divide the estate equitably put the farm at risk. The ultimate solution was complicated but elegant: Sale of conservation easements to Five Rivers Conservation Trust and historic preservation easements to NH Preservation Alliance permanently protected the property while providing resources for the heirs to share. Farm title passed to Equity Trust, a non-profit land trust charged…

East Road Farmland Corridor

    “Speaking on the value of volunteerism in our community, and many of those volunteers who are working each year to preserve the rural character of the town through land conservation. Last year, voters approved the purchase of 137 acres of conservation land on East Road. The land, referred to as the Banks/Schmid property will be protected by a land easement held by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Twenty acres of that land will be set aside for town use. Selectmen toured that property in the fall to get a better picture of the contours…