03/19/2012 11:16AM

Claiborne Farm donates land to Bluegrass Conservancy to protect farm from development

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky’s historic Claiborne Farm has donated a 3,000-acre conservation easement to the Bluegrass Conservancy in a move that will protect the farm from development.

The easement covers the entire farm, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010. The farm has been in the Hancock family since its founding. Its current owners – siblings Seth, Dell, and Clay Hancock – and Seth’s children, Allison and Walker Hancock, donated the easement.

“It’s something we wanted to do because we love the farm,” Dell Hancock told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “A conservation easement means it cannot be developed. It’s a wonderful feeling for all of us to know it is going to remain a farm in perpetuity. It won’t become a subdivision.”

The Bluegrass Conservancy estimates that development claimed 80,000 farmland acres in the area during the last decade.

“Over the next decade, millions of acres of farmland are going to change hands,” the conservancy’s executive director Mackenzie Royce said. “The Hancocks have recognized, as we do, that the beauty of our iconic agricultural landscape is what puts Kentucky on the world map – and it’s a major part of our economy. We are immensely grateful for the foresight and vision of people like the Hancock family.”