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Historic agreement builds and preserves

An agreement between the Faye Gehl Conservation Foundation and Nashotah House Theological Seminary will ensure the preservation of historic agricultural land in the Lake Country area while focusing the mission of a treasured theological institution.  
According to Mr. John Gehl of the foundation and the Very Reverend Steven Peay, Dean & President of Nashotah House, “We wish to be good stewards of the land by preserving it.”  This agreement maximizes stewardship of the land while preserving a rich relationship between the historic farm and the seminarians during their education at Nashotah House. 
The farm is made up of approximately 260 acres and is located adjacent to Nashotah House.  It has been owned and operated by Nashotah House since 1842.  According to Gehl, the Faye Gehl Conservation Foundation and Gehl Farmland Investments LLC are committed to saving agricultural land in the Lake Country area. To date they have protected over 700 acres in the area.
Gehl’s values fit well with those of the Nashotah House Board of Directors.  Gehl says the intention is to improve soil health by planting multiple crops, eventually converting a portion of the land to pasture, and finally to put a conservation easement on the agricultural portion of the land, so that it can never be developed.
 “Given the challenges of theological education, we are no longer able to support the farm and our educational mission” President Peay said.  “But under this new agreement, Mr. Gehl is open to including our students in the work of the farm.”
“[T]his opportunity… allows us to enter into a partnership that will enable the House to return to that critical part of its original mission while ensuring that the land is cared for using the latest conservation techniques available,” he said.  “Instead of creating more housing subdivisions, we believe the preservation of open space is important for Nashotah House, the region and the country.”