PDLT Protects 2nd Largest Working Farm- Hagin's Prong, Marlboro County
Pee Dee Land Trust Protects its Second Largest Working Farm
On August 12, 2016, Pee Dee Land Trust (PDLT) signed on the dotted line to finalize its agreement with Hagin’s Prong, LLC to permanently protect 1,722 acres of prime farmland in Marlboro County. Through the use of permanent agreements, PDLT and landowners work as partners to ensure that land use activities on private property are limited in order to preserve key conservation values which benefit the public. These values include open space such as rural scenic views along roads and rivers, habitat for wildlife including game and non-game species, and the protection of farm and forest land to ensure it remains in farming and forestry rather than being converted to other uses. PDLT is proud to have partnered with the South Carolina Conservation Bank to make this important project possible.
As owner of Hagin’s Prong Farm and lifelong farmer, Billy Hinson and his wife, Ella Reese, explained why they chose to place a conservation easement on the property Billy spent his life piecing together, “Billy and I are committed to protecting the land and farm so that it can continue to be fruitful, beautiful and natural. We can think of no better way to provide this protection than through Pee Dee Land Trust. Farming has been in this family for many generations and we want that thread to continue for our children and grandchildren. It is simple and profound at the same time.” Billy added that “if I knew that I had the opportunity to protect it and didn’t, I would feel like I had been less than the steward I should be.”
Billy and Ella Reese Hinson, owners of Hagin's Prong, LLC, sunflower field July 2016
With over 1,500 acres of prime farmland soils, nearly three miles of stream known as Hagin’s Prong, small stream hardwood forests, and Carolina Bays, the Hagin’s Prong Farm boasts significant agricultural ability and wildlife habitat. The agreement will keep the property in large tracts, helping to ensure that it will remain available for growing and harvesting crops and timber, as well as recreational uses such as hunting and fishing. Seth Cook, Director of Land Conservation with PDLT, noted that “farmland is the lifeblood of the Pee Dee and helping to keep the most productive areas available for the future of farming and forestry is largely the reason why we are here.”
With Hagin’s Prong Farm as the latest addition, the Pee Dee Land Trust has now protected over 23,700 acres in the Pee Dee Region. While remaining in private ownership, the lands protected through conservation easements held by PDLT ensure that special places will be available for farming, forestry, and recreation for future generations.
Pee Dee Land Trust works in nine counties of the Pee Dee region in South Carolina: Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Marlboro, and Williamsburg. Its mission is to protect, and to promote an appreciation of, the significant natural, agricultural, and historical resources of the Pee Dee Region through voluntary land conservation and educational programs. Pee Dee Land Trust has a toolbox full of options to help landowners who are interested in conservation such as accepting donations of land or conservation easements.