Osguthorpe Update.
To save the last farm on Old Ranch Road, the Summit Land Conservancy will make a $2.5 million down payment this week, and officially start the next push to raise an additional $3 million to seal the deal. Last year the Conservancy secured $8.8 million in federal funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Agricultural Conservation Easement Program to place a conservation easement on the property. The grant came from the NRCS Farm Bill program established to protect the long-term viability of productive working lands, like the 158-acre Osguthorpe Farm.
 
From the beginning, Summit Land Conservancy anticipated making a down payment in March of 2018 due to a financial obligation of the Osguthorpe family. Because of tremendous community support, the Conservancy will be able to make the down payment. The family has agreed to take out a loan to fulfill their remaining obligation. Going forward, the Conservancy still needs to find the last $3 million to complete the transaction by April 2019.

"We want to preserve the farm as a farm, even if have to borrow money to make that happen," says conservationist and local rancher Steve Osguthorpe. "This property is the first farm my dad bought in the area. We've upgraded it. The East half used to be called 'Poverty Flat' - nothing was farmed or raised there. Myself, my kids, my grandkids, we put our lives into that. It's who we are. We don't want to see homes on it."
 
Raising $2.5 million entirely from individuals during a three month time frame has been a wild journey. "I'm not a fan a cliff-hangers. This process has been very challenging, but also incredibly inspiring," said Cheryl Fox, Executive Director of the Summit Land Conservancy. "I am humbled and honored by the community's support and the Osguthorpe family's commitment."
 
The Conservancy has received over 440 donations from individual donors. Old Ranch Road neighbors, nonprofit organizations and elementary school children have all shown their support during the Osguthorpe fundraising campaign. In January, an open space conservation advocate, Jennifer Speers,  provided a generous $500,000 matching grant that rekindled much community interest for the fundraising effort. "I was blown away by Bonanza Flat, but I'm more blown away by this," said  Fox. "This campaign seems to have generated more local support and bigger local support. The take away is clear. People want the farm saved. We're going to do our very best to make sure that happens."
 
Saving the farm on Old Ranch Road is a $17.7 million transaction. The Osguthorpe family and the federal government are contributing $12.2 million of that. To date, the Conservancy has raised $2.5 million from the community and will need to raise the final $3 million. Upon completion of the transaction, the family will grant a permanent conservation easement on the property, ensuring that the 158 acres is preserved as a working farm forever.
 
Thank You to our Osguthorpe Farm Donors!

Michael Adams
Brooks Addicott
Alan & Carol Agle
Justin Altman
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