Farmland Forever Protected in Cutchogue

February 14, 2022
Conservation News

More farmland will remain forever protected in Cutchogue. In December 2021, Southold Town purchased the development rights (PDR) on 7.7 acres of farmland from Russ McCall. A PDR allows landowners like McCall to continue to own their property while the land is forever protected from development. Even if the property is sold in the future, the property will remain as farmland.

The recently protected parcel was originally owned and cultivated by the Elak Family. It was a farm that produced field crops and sod for many years. In 2019, McCall reached out to the Trust for guidance on the purchase and protection of the neighboring Elak Farm. Through a grant from New York State Agricultural & Markets, the Trust obtained an appraisal on the farmland on behalf of the owner John Elak. The appraisal allowed financial negotiations to begin between McCall and Elak facilitated by Trust Project Manager, Holly Sanford. McCall was then able to purchase and protect the property in 2021. This land along with McCall’s two adjacent parcels now creates an assemblage of over 100 protected acres of land. The new owner intends to use the farm lot as additional pasture for his cattle. Pictured above are McCall’s cattle grazing on the farmland behind the Trust’s North Fork Stewardship Center in Cutchogue.

To learn more about this project, contact Holly Sanford, Project Manager at

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