96-year old farmer makes the family farm a forever farm

July 23, 2018


California Farmland Trust
(916) 687-3178

96-year old farmer makes the family farm a forever farm

ELK GROVE, CA: The California Farmland Trust (CFT) is honored to share that our friend, Mr. James Messick, has donated a conservation easement over his property in San Joaquin County so that his farm remains in productive agriculture forever. Mr. Messick’s 85 acres near Linden, full of walnut and cherry orchards and dotted with oaks along the river, will forever remain a treasure from which we will all benefit. The donated easement permanently prohibits development of the property, even if it is sold.

“This easement is unique because Mr. Messick felt so strongly that conserving his farm was the right thing to do he decided to donate the easement, foregoing compensation for the development rights he gave to CFT,” said Charlotte Mitchell CFT Executive Director. “We are thankful for his generosity, that will allow us to ensure his family farm remains a farm, forever.”

A portion of the property runs along the Calaveras River with streams that traverse the pasture also supporting native plants. The Messick property is predominantly orchards, but it also includes open grasslands and significant areas of native riparian vegetation. Mr. Messick himself has planted over 300 Valley Oaks, a showcase of harmony between farming and the stewardship of natural resources.

“Mr. Messick embodies the type of person that we are fortunate to engage with on our California farmlands every day,” said Ron Freitas, CFT Board President. “When we protect farmland we also protect the vital land steward who ensures our local food supply and natural resources thrive together.”

If a landowner has land with important natural, agricultural or historic resources, donating a conservation easement can be a prudent way to both save the land forever and possibly realize federal tax savings.


The California Farmland Trust is a California Non-Profit 501(c)(3). Our mission is to help farmers protect the best farmland in the world. To date we have protected 15,300 acres of farmland on nearly 60 family farms. Visit us: www.cafarmtrust.org