When asked about the age of the old farmhouse, Bunk Perrow laughed and said, “This house is one of the only things on the farm that’s been here longer than I have.”
The house, located on 295 acres of land in Bedford County, was purchased by Bunk’s grandfather in 1920, and he estimates that it was probably built sometime around the turn of the century. Overlooking a valley of beautiful farmland and surrounded by mountains, it’s difficult to imagine a more idyllic view in all of Virginia.
As a warehouse manager in his youth, Bunk was transferred away from his home on the farm and ended up in San Jose, California. He recalled how different life was from back on the farm, and stated that, “Even in those days, traffic was awful because everyone and their dog had a car and they drove everywhere.” After a brief and unenjoyable stint in California, Bunk decided to return home to Virginia where he purchased cattle and went back into the dairy business with his parents.
Fast forward almost 50 years, Bunk is still raising beef cattle on his little slice of heaven in Bedford County.
When asked about his reasons for wanting to protect the farm he grew up on, he quickly responded with, “Well, if you look around you, it’s beautiful country. It’s just too pretty to be growing any houses.” He also noted that the financial benefit of the easement was a bonus since, “Every farmer will tell you one thing: we’re asset rich, and money poor. You just learn to live with it.”
Just a stone’s throw away from the farmhouse, Bunk’s grandson lives in what used to be the old dairy barn, marking the 5th generation still living on the property. After just a few minutes of talking to Bunk, it’s clear that he is passionate about making sure that these lands are protected so that his family can enjoy it for years to come.
The conservation easement, held by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, will do exactly that.
Back in the late 1900s, Bunk and his father had discussed the idea of protecting the farm with an easement, but never ended up following through. It wasn’t until recently when a neighboring farm owner, Robert Burkes, decided to protect 135 acres of his own, and re-ignited Bunk’s idea of a conservation easement.
“It was very easy to get started after Bobby brought the information by,” said Bunk. “After I reached out, Taylor was the very first to call. I like Taylor, he’s a great guy.”
According to Bunk, Taylor Cole, President of Conservation Partners was eager to help in any way possible. He said that Taylor recommended a knowledgeable attorney to help with the legal process and was a great resource every step of the way.
Bunk also noted that throughout the easement process, the rest of the team went above and beyond through the numerous trips and phone calls required to facilitate the easement. “If I had questions, I’d call Conservation Partners, and they’d always have the answers. They were really great to work with.”
Additionally, Bunk took advantage of Conservation Partners’ Advance Funding Program, which helped to cover various expenses such as appraisal, legal, and surveying costs, until credits are issued for the easement.
Overall, Bunk said that he was pleased with the process as well as the end result of protecting the land which he loves so dearly.
“I’m glad I did it. I’m really tickled.”