Meet the Ferry Family (L to R) , Andrew Ferry, Shauna Ferry, Maia Ferry , Deborah Ferry, Michael Ferry
“I am thrilled to announce that the Ferry family from Westport, led by 3rd generation farmers Andrew and Shauna, will expand their family’s existing dairy business on Main Road” says Ross Moran, executive director of WLCT. “We received six qualified applications from local farm families and enlisted the help of local community members, an agricultural finance professional, and farmers to select the next owner. The Santos family created a legacy on this working farm and made it a valuable part of our community. We are confident that the Ferry family will continue that legacy well into the future.”
The Ferry family is committed to animal care, responsible farmland stewardship, and growth of their business. They recently built a facility to process milk and yogurt at their Gifford Road property. They have experience farming land protected with conservation and agricultural restrictions, and they are committed to Westport. Andrew and Shauna, along with their young daughter, will live at the house on the Main Road farm, which will allow them to tend the herd of dairy cows they will bring to the property.
An aerial view of the 80-acre Main Road farm to be sold to the Ferry Family.
“Shauna and I are so thankful for the opportunity to purchase this protected farm with my parents, and to have a home for our family,” says Andrew Ferry. “I’ve been farming in Westport alongside my father for my whole life and can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Mike and Deborah both bring a wealth of farm experience from two established Westport families. Mike is a second generation farmer and Deborah’s father produced value-added dairy for many years, including cheese. “We both grew up farming in Westport,” says Deborah Ferry. “When Andrew decided to follow in our footsteps we knew it would be hard for him to find the good, affordable farmland needed to start his own dairy business. We are grateful that the community has protected so many farms, and that Andrew and Shauna now have a chance to raise their family and farm in Westport.”
WLCT acquired the Santos Farm on Main Road in December 2020, with the goal of protecting and reselling it to an experienced farmer. WLCT raised over $5 million in public and private funds to protect this farm; one of Westport’s largest unprotected working farms and WLCT’s largest project to date. The Town of Westport and WLCT hold a conservation restriction to ensure the property’s permanent protection and to require its productive, prime soils stay in active agriculture. The farm can never be subdivided, and additional houses cannot be built.
“The people of Westport value our rural landscapes and farmers, as reflected in our Master Plan and Open Space Plan. The Santos family has been great stewards of this landscape and a valuable part of our farming community for three generations,” says Richard Brewer, Chair of the Westport Board of Selectmen. “I am happy to see this land now protected, and, perhaps more importantly, to see its legacy as a working dairy farm continue with the Ferry family.”
This farm is part of a network of over 2,100 acres of protected, working farmland across Westport. This land, and Westport’s rural character, have been protected since the 1970’s with the combined efforts of WLCT, the Town of Westport, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, and other like-minded organizations, along with the support of the Westport community and voters. “Now, more than ever it is so important to support local agricultural production. We are losing farms every day in Massachusetts and the best way to keep these farms alive is to support their protection and to buy their products,” shared Moran.
The sale is expected to be completed in April 2021 and the Ferry family will immediately move cows onto the land and start working the fields.
One of Andrew and Shauna’s Jersey cows. The Ferry Family also keep Swiss and Holstein cows in their herd.
The remaining 45 acres of the farm is now owned by WLCT and a new trail system will be added in the near future to connect to the Herb Hadfield Conservation Area. The property has been further protected with a Conservation Restriction held by the Trustees of Reservations.