Vernon's Coster Farm now preserved

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:09

    Vernon Township — The Coster Gerard Farm on Meadowburn Road has been included in the Sussex County farmland preservation program. This is the largest farm to close in Vernon Township and the third largest (at 359.48 acres) in Sussex County that has entered the program. The Gerard family have been strong advocates of the Farmland Preservation program since its inception in the mid-1980s, and have long been proponents of open space protection. During the 1990s, with significant development pressure knocking at the door, Coster persevered with his dream of protecting this significant farmland parcel. The County of Sussex and Vernon Township supported this acquisition throughout the process. Currently the farm is leased to Bobolink Dairy, which operates a cheese-making business. In 2008, the county successfully closed on 18 farms totaling 1,566 acres. The Gerard farm is the fourth closing in 2009. This brings the county total farmland preservation to 109 farms and approximately 13,131 acres. State funding has been exhausted for the program and the county has limited dollars for a funding round this year. For information on the Farmland Preservation program, contact the Sussex County Office of Farmland Preservation and Conservation at