V Mac Baldwin purchased his first calf when he was 10 years old. His wife Peggy grew up on a cattle farm near Burlington North Carolina. In 1981, V Mac and Peggy Baldwin bought a 331-acre run down tobacco farm in Caswell County and created the “homeplace” that anchors their multi-generational family farm operation today. Their son Craig and several grandchildren work on the farm. The farm provides scenic vistas of white Charolais cattle grazing on rolling green hills on NC Highway 86 just a few miles south east of Yanceyville.
Thanks to the patience and persistence of V Mac and Peggy Baldwin, the homeplace, along with additional land they’ve acquired since 1981, will remain farmland forever. On October 31, 2017, V Mac and Peggy Baldwin signed a conservation agreement to permanently protect 424 acres of Baldwin Family Farm. This project has been in the works for several years and would not be possible without the Baldwin’s commitment to farmland preservation.
PLC completed this project with grant funds from the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund and the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. Additional funding from the Conservation Trust of North Carolina helped offset costs that were not covered by the state and federal programs. By the terms of the conservation agreement, the land cannot be subdivided and any future buildings must be located near existing farm structures and used solely for agriculture. These restrictions help secure the agricultural viability of the property, which helps protect a source for local foods for years to come.
Dewitt Hardee, Director of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Farmland Preservation Program describes the Baldwin Family Farm project as “an opportunity to ensure this land will continue to be an available and valuable resource for food and fiber production going forward, just as it is now. This is a forward-looking step that will be a great benefit to future generations of farmers and the local community.”
You may recognize the name Baldwin Beef from your local Whole Foods Market. The Baldwin’s supply stores throughout Virginia and North Carolina with grass fed, antibiotic and hormone free beef raised on the farm. Baldwin Family Farms began direct marketing their beef in 2002 and opened an on farm beef market in 2003. If you’re like many consumers today and want to know where your food comes from, it doesn’t get much better than shopping at the farm store. Ever the innovator, from how he feeds and raises his cattle, to how he markets the finished product, V Mac has recently “beefed-up” Baldwin Family Farms’ internet sales efforts. “The new market structure is on-line – especially with millennials – the last thing they want to do is spend time grocery shopping,” said V Mac Baldwin. “We want Baldwin Beef to be the on-line resource for grass-fed beef for the eastern United States.”