Valley family promises to keep their land as farmland forever

ROCKINGHAM, Va. (WHSV) — Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation is giving away $4.23 million in grants across the state, and $116,100 of those dollars are going to Valley Pike Farm Inc., owned by the Lohr family.

Lohrs Farm is a Virginia Century Farm and the Lohr family has had it for many generations. Ellen and Gary Lohr want to make sure it stays a farm forever. To do that, they are putting the farm into easement — which means it cannot be sold as anything but a farm.

"The farm has been in our family for over 100 years, it's a century farm, we're very proud of it, we've worked hard to maintain it and to keep it. The grant will help with monies to offset some of the cost," said Ellen.

The Lohrs applied for the grant to help offset the legal fees for easement and any leftover money will go towards sustaining the farm.

Now that the farm is in easement, no developer can come in and buy it for land.

"I hate to see a farm go into development, I mean, when it's gone, it's gone, so I'm just blessed that we can do this," said Gary.

Now that they are looking towards retirement, the couple knows their farm is secure for future generations.

Also receiving grants from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation were the Jack Mountain Tracts Easement in Highland County (for forest management), the Clinedinst Greenway in Shenandoah County (to protect part of the New Market Battlefield), the Lyon Farm in Shenandoah County (part of the Fisher's Hill Battlefield), and the Mount Joy Pond Natural Area Preserve Addition in Augusta County (to add 85 acres to the existing preserve).