Project #922646 Niles Ferry Road, Vonore, TN 37885

Acre: 410

Property Type: Working Farm

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Project #92

Color Wheel Farm, a designated “Tennessee Century Farm” and currently the oldest family farm in Monroe County, is a seven-generation farm that produces corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, and switchgrass, along with a cow/calf herd. The name “Color Wheel” is a nod from the current owners, the Black family, to the original owners, the White family (ownership has come all the way around the color wheel–read more about the farm’s history here).  The farm was protected in 2011 and is underlain by USDA designated Prime Agricultural Soils.

The farm is less than one mile from Tellico Lake, a TVA impoundment of the Little Tennessee River and the Tellico River. It is also within the viewshed of the Cherokee National Forest and Tellico Wildlife Management Area, which is significant given the degree of encroaching residential development in the immediate area.  In addition to the scenic, pastoral quality of the open fields, there are also 72 acres of woodland and three springs on the property, enhancing and diversifying available habitat for wildlife.

The Black family.

A quote from the landowner regarding the decision to protect the farm with a conservation easement: “We really thought about the future of our farm and it was important to us that the agreement included allowances for the future of changing agriculture practices. We also wanted a certain flexibility in the way the easement was written for our kids and their kids.”  FLC values our relationship with our working farm landowners and their commitment to showing that conservation and agriculture can work hand in hand!