In December 2018, Judy Guy made the lasting decision to conserve her historic farm in Wilson County with The Land Trust for Tennessee.
“Judy’s attention to what matters to her does not waiver,” says Land Trust Conservation Project Manager Emily Quinlan, who worked with Judy to permanently protect her special place. Tucked away in what is now the Old Hickory Town neighborhood, the 45-acre farm has been cultivated and cared for by Judy’s family over the last seven generations. The landscape surrounding the ‘oasis’, as she affectionately refers to it, has seen many changes over the decades, and today the farm is surrounded by residences and commercial development on all sides.
In the heart of it all, Judy raises cattle and tends to her horses. She cares for the farm’s old growth trees, prime agricultural soils, and the land along Scotts Creek flowing through it.
What may seem to passersby as simply a tranquil home for Judy and her animals is actually a place steeped in history. Judy’s farm is less than a two-mile walk east from The Hermitage, the estate of former President Andrew Jackson.
Over the decades, the farm has seen everything from breeding horses to raising hogs and sheep from which hams were cured and wool was harvested. A historic barn remains on the property in which Judy’s great grandfather, George Fuller, bred and raised Standardbred horses in the early 1900s. Judy shares that he went on to Russia with several of the horses, teaching the Czar how to breed and care for them.
“My grandfather, who I was fortunate to spend many years with, raised cattle,” Judy says. “He kept ponies and horses for us to learn how to care for and to spend many hours horseback riding. Those are some of the best memories in my life! He instilled in me the importance of agriculture, hard work, and preserving land.”
For Future Generations
If this project seems familiar, then you may be thinking of Judy’s sister, Karen Guy, who also conserved her neighboring 146-acre farm, Hunter’s Hill Farm, back in 2007. “Judy and her sister, Karen, are doing what they can to preserve the rural character of this Middle Tennessee community,” explains Emily.
Judy’s choice to conserve her land benefits the whole community by being a source of food production, removing air pollutants, offering protection from floods, maintaining native wildlife and their habitat, and increasing the emotional well-being of all who are able to enjoy the scenic view of her farm.
“[Conserving] what is left of this amazing piece of agricultural history and the ingenuity of previous generations brings me happiness and peace of mind knowing future generations will have the opportunity to learn from it and enjoy it,” says Judy.
“Judy’s commitment to honoring the hard work and legacy of her family – through farming and eventually conserving her farm – amid juggling her other full-time job and caring for her family, inspired me,” shares Emily. “I’m so glad we can celebrate Judy and her decision to conserve her family land.”
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