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Agricultural Preservation Board, Barry County Conservation District Partner with Local Family Preserving 483 Acres of Farmland
October 09, 2023
MDARD honors the Wing Family for their contribution to the future of Michigan farming
LANSING - The Wing Family has been part of Michigan's agricultural history for 170 years. In September, the long-time farming family was honored by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and the Agricultural Preservation Board for helping preserve 438 acres of Barry County farmland for future farming.
"Farming isn't just their career choice and how they pay their bills, it's an integral part of this family's DNA and now it will also be part of the long-term legacy of Michigan farming," said Tim Boring, MDARD Director. "I am honored to join the Agricultural Preservation Fund Board honoring Paul Wing and his family for supporting Michigan agriculture and for a lifetime of dedication to conserving and protecting agricultural properties for future generations."
In 1853, Thomas Wing emigrated from England and purchased the original family homestead near Bellevue in Barry County. Several parcels of land were gifted to family members over the years and Howard and Paul Wing spent years reassembling the parcels. The Wing Family Farm, known now as Wing Acres Dairy, is also a certified centennial farm. Additionally, Paul Wing has a long and active history of both stewardship and collaboration with the Barry County Conservation Easement Board, Barry County Farm Bureau, Barry Conservation District Board, and the Agricultural Preservation Fund Board. When asked why he became involved in the farmland preservation movement, Paul stated: Who else is going to feed everyone? They needed people to protect farm ground so that the world would not go hungry.
In March of 2022, the Barry County Easement Board was awarded a grant from the Agricultural Preservation Fund Board to purchase an agricultural conservation easement on 438 acres of property owned by Paul and Sue Wing. The success of this project rested on Paul and Sue Wing who agreed to donate nearly 62 percent of the total easement value to the Barry County Easement Board.
Michigan is home to nearly 10 million acres of farmland; and the Agricultural Preservation Fund Board is charged with managing the distribution of grants to preserve farmland and help conserve Michigan's agricultural heritage. For more information on the Agricultural Preservation Fund Board, please visit their website.