When Sherman voters approved the lease of Happy Acres Farm to Full Circle Farming LLC on Saturday evening – by the overwhelming margin of 452 in favor to 264 opposed – they gave new life to the iconic Sherman landmark, which triggered an outpouring of relief and joy from its supporters.
The results of this referendum: 452 voters said “yes” and 264 voters said “no”. A total of 716 ballots were cast. Voter turnout was 27 percent out of a total of 2,618 registered voters eligible to vote.
First Selectman Clay Cope, who had anxiously awaited the results at the polls, stated “I am very excited! From the time I first got the proposal, I knew this was a great opportunity. We will work together with the appointed farm committee and with oversight. I felt confident that the Town would pass the lease, and I am grateful for the voters and for those who worked at the polls on a rainy December day.”
As for new tenant Adam Mantzaris, he energetically stated, “I feel great! We thank the Sherman people who had the foresight to see and support our vision. We are thrilled to get started.” John Motsinger, Adam’s business partner, was also ecstatic with the referendum results. “I am thrilled as well and can’t wait to get started. Now, the hard work begins. I thank the Board of Selectmen and the Town of Sherman for wanting to support local food and sustainable agriculture.”
Next Steps: The lease for $15,936 per year will go under contract and Full Circle Farming LLC will be the official new tenant of Happy Acres Farm on January 1, 2015.
In addition, Full Circle Farming LLC will coordinate over the next few weeks with Jeff Lescynski, the current farmer at Happy Acres Farm, to assure a smooth transition and proper care for the herd of approximately 55 head of cattle. Longer term, Full Circle Farming LLC plans to create an onsite store, offer educational programming, and host special events.
On January 1st, Full Circle Farming LLC officially moved into Happy Acres Farm in Sherman, Connecticut.
This original article by Alicia Sakal ran in the December 10th Edition of the Citizen News, serving Sherman and New Fairfield, Connecticut. Photo: Alicia Sakal