The last week of December 2018 is a date third generation farmer, Dee Hockman, is not likely to forget anytime soon. This is when she learned Northbrook Farm, the 186-acre family farm she owns and operates south of Strasburg, would be protected forever with a conservation easement.
As long as she can remember, Northbrook Farm has been a beef cow operation. Hockman knows when the time comes for her to retire from farming, the property will remain intact and she will pass the farm into good hands—to the son and daughter of her close friends. Too often these days you hear about young people who want to get into farming but can’t find land. For her part, Hockman believes that protecting her land will give future young farmers the chance to achieve that dream.
When I look out over this view I can hear my mother say, ‘Dee, you gotta keep this as a farm.’ And I guess that has been my goal.
Dee Hockman is owner and operator of Northbrook Farm and has been active in the community for many years in support of wise land use policy and protection of the county’s historic agricultural heritage. She currently serves on the County’s Citizen Advisory Committee for the Comprehensive Plan and Conservation Easement Authority and is a past board member of Alliance legacy group Shenandoah Forum.