Easement Donor Profiles


Mrs. Tita de Gavre, Deep Creek Plantation, Onancock, VA
"I really love it. I want to preserve it for future generations. More of America is becoming paved over and I'm a country girl. I want it to stay country." -Mrs. de Gavre
Dr. Hal Lassiter, Elder Farm, Craddockville, VA

"The opportunity to preserve unspoiled land forever comes once in a lifetime, if that. Knowing that the waterfowl and animals will have an undisturbed home forever provides an incomparable degree of satisfaction that is impossible to quantify or value in dollars." -Dr. Lassiter
Larry and Cindy Custis, Cedar Grove Farm, Pungoteague, VA

Larry Custis is the third generation to farm Cedar Grove Farm. His grandfather bought the farm in 1943. When he was 18 months old, Mr. Custis moved to Cedar Grove. He grew up in the old farm house that still stands by the creek. Sixty-eight years later, he is still living on and actively farming the property himself. The Custises decided to place Cedar Grove Farm under conservation easement to protect their family legacy. Although Larry’s father didn’t know about conservation easements, his wish was to keep it a farm. Mrs. Custis added, “We want to protect creeks and water and really want  to see farmland farmed."
Thomas and Francie Rayfield, Rayfield Farm, Birdsnest, VA

Mr. Rayfield grew up tending to the family cemetary located on Rayfield Farm. Every holiday he came with his mother to clear off the gravestones, cutting back honeysuckle and other foliage. This deep connection to family history and the land eventually lead Mr. and Mrs. Rayfield to purchase and perserve the old family homestead. “We wanted to keep it all in one piece. I thought a conservation easement sounded like a really good idea for what we wanted to do with the land. The easement allows us to do everything we want,” noted Mr. Rayfield, “I think that’s a fear people have when considering easements. We laid it out ahead of time and made sure it was included in the easement.”
Cameron and Adele McIntyre, Fletcher Farm, New Church, VA

Cameron McIntyre, a local artist and decoy carver, fell in love with the Eastern Shore landscape as a boy on vacation. He eventually returned to permanently protect the landscape he loves.  “The land inspires me constantly," said Cameron, "Even if I have painted a tree 10 times, it looks different each day and each season. There are a million things to paint on this farm. You just have to let it speak to you. I could paint here forever.”