Casier Farm: Empire - The Leelanau Conservancy

Casier Farm: Empire

Five Generation Casier Farm in Empire Forever Protected

From our 2008 Fall Newsletter

Casier Farm in Empire Township – Signed, Sealed & Delivered!

It’s one of those marathon projects that make you smile when it’s all said and done. The cherries and maple syrup will seem that much more tasty now that the project has finally reached its conclusion. As the trees began to change colors, the partnership between the Casier Family, the Conservancy and the federal government closed. It all started back in 2002 when the Conservancy first explored a way to permanently preserve this 158-acre family farm. The final agreement allows the family to live on the farm and ensures these lands overlooking the stunning Empire Valley and Lake Michigan will remain available for farming from now on, thanks to the patience and perseverance of the Casier Family.

Five generations of Casiers have worked this land, which is particularly vulnerable to development because of its spectacular views and its adjacency to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Thanks to the Casiers for selling their development rights, ensuring that this land,which is prime for fruit growing, will always be available for agricultural purposes.

“Without our family farm’s preservation project, it would be near impossible for our farm to be passed from father to sons. Given that the average age of county farmers is near 55, we know that many farms will be changing hands in the near future. This preservation program will be an invaluable tool towards keeping this land in agriculture,” Bill Casier, Jr. said.

“My grandfather came from the old country to farm here. Farming in Leelanau County is a good life. And it’s one worth living, for me, my children and future generations of my family,” William Casier Sr.