Across the street from the old sign signaling your arrival in the hamlet of Salt Point in the Town of Pleasant Valley, the red barn and historic 1790 main house of Locust Grove Farm create a vista trapped in time. It’s nearly impossible not to notice the stunning, rural landscape of the area and hope that this picturesque scene will never disappear. Thanks to the generational stewardship of the Atkins family, part of it never will. 

Betsy Atkins, along with her husband Ron and their family, made the decision to sell the development rights of Locust Grove Farm and forever protect it with a conservation easement. With help from the DLC, along with partners Scenic Hudson, the NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets, and Dutchess County, the Atkins family has ensured that the 170-acre farm that has been in Betsy’s family for generations will largely remain the same.

“After lengthy and thoughtful discussion within our family, we decided to move forward with selling the development rights through a sense of responsibility to maintain my ancestors’ commitment to Locust Grove Farm in perpetuity,” Betsy Atkins says. “I am confident that our children, and their children, will continue to support the farm as long as they are able. However, I am also comforted in knowing that, by selling the development rights to the farm, the property will remain open and available for agriculture should there come a time when the property leaves the family ownership.”

Originally a portion of the Great Nine Partners Patent, a land grant made in 1697, the farm has been in Betsy’s family since 1830, primarily as a dairy farm since the early 1900’s. Leased to the Hackett family since 2009, the farm is the home of “Hackett Holsteins,” a dairy operation that has been designated a Dairy of Distinction by the Northeast Dairy Farm Beautification Program. There has been a longstanding relationship between Atkins and the Hacketts. Betsy is very happy with their operation and presence on the farm and plans for this relationship to continue long into the future.