Recently, Montezuma Land Conservancy became a landowner by acquiring a property that we are excited to share with the community. “Fozzie’s Farm,” an 83 acre parcel of prime irrigated farmland near Lewis became the first property that MLC owns. Of course, a conservation easement also protects its agricultural character forever. This spring we will begin a baseline report and holistic management plan so we can track our journey as land owners and stewards.
Our vision is to offer a physical location for agricultural demonstrations, to provide space for agricultural research and education, and to partner with educators to engage students with hands-on conservation projects. Fozzie’s Farm will remain a working agricultural property while providing outdoor learning and networking opportunities. A young, local rancher has been sharing his vision to lease the property for his cattle operation and to simultaneously build soil health with cover crops and grazing.
Excitement is building among agricultural producers and educators to engage community members with the latest developments in building healthy soils, conserving water, and controlling noxious weeds. Fozzie’s Farm will be a place to try new strategies and share ideas. We’ve been reaching out to community members to learn what needs they have and building partnerships to meet those needs. Some of this work includes:
- The High Desert Conservation District and MLC are collaborating to plan workshops for local farmers and ranchers at Fozzie’s Farm.
- Acting as “Citizens Scientists,” students from Dove Creek High School and Montezuma Cortez High School agriculture science departments will be collecting data and evaluating the soils and plants at the farm this spring.
- Montessori pre-school and elementary students from the Children’s House and Kiva Charter School will be planning conservation activities for the weeks leading up to Earth Day.
- South West Open School students will visit Fozzie’s Farm and a nearby dryland farm also conserved by MLC to learn about historic and modern conservation strategies that began as a result of the Dust Bowl.
Stay tuned as we continue efforts to share this gift with the community to touch lives, create a hub for preserving our agricultural heritage, and protect land. Also, keep an eye out for our upcoming print newsletter, which will feature a formal introduction of Fozzie’s Farm!
If you’d like to get involved in our work at Fozzie’s Farm, get in touch with Jay at firstname.lastname@example.org