Protected by: Connecticut Farmland Trust, CT Department of of Energy and Environmental Protection, USDA-NRCS
Year Protected: 2016
Frederick and Mary Gunther purchased their family farm approximately 130 years ago, and it was primarily used to support a dairy operation. Since then, several generations of Gunthers have used the farm primarily as a dairy. Russell Gunther was the last of the family to run a full-scale dairy operation, until his death in 1983.
Russell’s children decided to protect the farm where they grew up, so that it would be safe from development forever, and found a partner next door.
Adjacent to the farm is the Tolland Agricultural Center (TAC), a regional leader in agricultural education. Because the location is a highly developed and suburban area, TAC had been unable to expand its operation. However, because the funding for the Gunther property came from both public and private sources, CFT was able to purchase the farm and transfer it to TAC for $1 – making this the first time in CFT’s history it has conveyed a valuable farm to a non-profit. The addition of Gunther Farm will enable TAC to add educational opportunities for youth and adults, more public trails, and an incubator operation for a beginning farmer.