Press Releases



498-Acre Historic Voluntown Dairy Farm Protected

Final Easement Ensures Farmland Remains for Future Farmers

(HARTFORD, CT) – The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg), in cooperation with Connecticut Farmland Trust (CFT) and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) is pleased to announce the fourth and final easement of 79 acres to complete the preservation of Gallup Farm, a 498-acre historic dairy farm in VoluntownThis is the seventh farm protected this calendar year by CT DoAg, with a total of 543 acres preserved. Since the inception of the program in 1979 the state has protected 415 farms and 48,540 acres.

“The completion of this final easement on Gallup Farm demonstrates not only collaboration among non-profit, state, and federal partners, but also a steadfast commitment by the landowner, to see this process through to protect working farmlands for future farmers,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “Recent legislative changes will allow landowners of future properties with development rights acquired by CT DoAg to subdivide after it has been protected provided the land remains in agricultural use in accordance with regulations. It is our intention that this will enable a faster completion of protecting large parcels and create flexibilities for landowners.”


Gallup Farm, now more than 350 years old, began with a land grant of more than 100 acres to Capt. John Gallup by the General Court of Connecticut for services rendered during the Pequot Indian War. Land was added over the years reaching more than 1,000 acres during the 1930’s when 600 acres were sold to the State of Connecticut to pay off a mortgage and build a new barn.

Today it is owned by Byron Gallup, the 13th generation, who became a partner in the farm with his father Benjamin after graduating from UConn in 1972. Countless hours were spent clearing the fields and pastures which exist today, and then using the trees harvested to construct buildings. It was always a long-term goal to ensure the farmland remained in production.  Following the passing of his father in 2014, Byron set out to do just that.

He applied to the CT Department of Agriculture’s Farmland Preservation Program to protect nearly 500 acres of farmland in total, which has been preserved with four separate conservation easements to allow for more flexibility in the future. The first easement, Gallup Homestead Farm II, closed in August 2020; the second easement, Gallup Homestead Farm I, closed in October 2021; and the third easement, Gallup Homestead Farm IV, closed in December 2022. Connecticut Farmland Trust has been an integral partner throughout the process.


“It has been an honor working with Byron Gallup to preserve his family’s farm and I’ve learned his deep personal devotion to conservation and to the next generation of farmers,” said Kathleen Doherty, Connecticut Farmland Trust’s Conservation Manager. She added, “Preserving the farm in multiple parcels takes longer, but having smaller parcels available addresses a key component of ensuring that farming is an economically viable option for future generations of CT farmers."

CFT and CT DoAg jointly secured an Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easement (ACEP-ALE) grant from the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS).

“The great thing about working for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service is we get to be a part of something special,” said Machelle Simmons, Acting State Conservationist in Connecticut. “Working with conservation partners, and remarkable producers like Byron Gallup to protect ever-so-important farmland here and across the country is more crucial than ever. By preserving almost 80 acres on this fourth easement – 500 acres in total – Mr. Gallup is helping to protect the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing the conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses – which is especially significant because more than half of it is comprised of prime, statewide, and locally important farmland soils. These soils are high yielding and key to meeting short- and long-term needs for feeding and clothing the world.”

Through the NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), agricultural land easements protect the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing the conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses. Land protected by these types of easements provide additional public benefits including environmental quality, historic preservation, wildlife habitat, and protection of open space.


For more information on Connecticut’s Farmland Preservation Program, visit our website for program overview, frequently asked questions, and contact information.

Connecticut Farmland Trust (CFT) is the only land trust in the state dedicated solely to the protection of agricultural land.  Since its founding in 2002, CFT has protected 73 family farms, covering more than 5,862 acres. CFT, a private accredited nonprofit, works with farm owners, community organizations, and local, state, and federal agencies to protect the best Connecticut farmland for current and future generations of farmers. Learn more at

The Natural Resources Conservation Service – an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture – helps America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners conserve the nation’s soil, water, air, and other natural resources. All programs are voluntary and offer science-based solutions that benefit both the landowner and the environment.

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture mission is to foster a healthy economic, environmental, and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state's citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its contribution to the state's economy. For more information, visit




For Immediate Release: Friday, September 1, 2023 Contact: Rebecca Eddy,