Bohanan Farm Land is preserved forever

 

Farm House 1900
Farm House 1900

In 1907 Lester Bohanan bought 100 acres on the Contoocook River in Hopkinton, N.H.  Like most farmers during that era he grew enough to feed his livestock and family with a little left over to barter or sell; it was a subsistence farm.  Bohanan Farm has been in constant change ever since; each generation, adding land and cattle to keep pace with modern society.  By 2008 it had grown to over 440 acres, and more than 400 cattle.  As his great grand-daughter Heather and her husband Jamie looked at how to position the farm so that a fifth generation could return, it became obvious that it would have to be done differently than in the past.

The family decided the most important thing to them was that the land remained undeveloped.  In September of 2008 Jamie contacted the Hopkinton Open Space Committee to see if they were interested in purchasing a conservation easement on the majority of the land.  They were very enthusiastic about the opportunity.  The town brought in Five Rivers Conservation Trust to help with the project.

After two years of diligent work a coalition was formed; including the town of Hopkinton, Five Rivers Conservation Trust, private donors, the State of New Hampshire, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service.  The coalition worked closely with the family, raising funds and educating the residents of Hopkinton about what a conservation easement consists of and the importance of open space to the town.

In December of 2009 a special town meeting was held to vote on whether or not the town would help purchase the conservation easement on the farm land.  The meeting was the largest in town history, with more than two thirds of the voters in favor of the easement. As a result, Bohanan Farm land will be preserved as open space and accessible to the public forever.

With the farmland protected from development, the family could concentrate on changing the business to position it for the future.  After much soul searching it was decided that they really wanted to remain a dairy farm, but adding more cows was not a viable option for the future.

With the “eat local” movement gaining momentum, research began into direct sales of dairy products from the farm.

Now that the farm has determined its business plan must change, the Robertson Family of Bohanan Farm is excited to announce the launch of Contoocook Creamery.   Contoocook Creamery offers Local, Fresh, Wholesome milk in returnable glass bottles to the Hopkinton/Concord area.