Neill family passes 160 year old farm to new owners

Category: community 6,693

The new owners intend to revitalize the property with a local agri-tourism/hospitality business.

Neill Family Release
Photo by John Wetendorf

(Fredericton) For more than 160 years, the Neill family farm has stood on the hill as an emblem of strength and community on the Northside of Fredericton. So many can still be heard speaking of the days when parents would take them to visit the barn at milking time so Albert Neill could show them where milk comes from. The hill at the farm has for decades provided a natural venue for sliding parties in winter. The Neill farm was also the place where scores of young people gained their first work experience, working side-by-side with Ron Neill during the summer haying season.

In 2015, Ron and Albert Neill were presented with the Distinguished Citizens of Fredericton Award. Their contribution to the city was not in serving in a public role, but rather in the way they welcomed the residents of the city to their farm, and the impact they had on countless citizens. Their influence was earned through personal relationships and a strong commitment to community.

In recent years, the Neill family was challenged to find the next generation of farmers. The desire of the Neill family was and is that this legacy continue long after the cows were gone from the property.

As active farming winded down for the Neill family farm, the inevitability of development slowly became a reality. With it came the potential to lose a local way of life. Long the subject of paintings and photographic projects, the majestic farmhouse sitting high above Devon could have been traded in for new development.

However, the Neill family is excited to announce that the next generation of farmers has been found. An agreement has been reached to sell the farm to new owners who have a vision and a plan to build on a family legacy that has been more than 160 years in the making.

In June of 2020, the Neill family was approached about a project that would preserve the family farm. A young, entrepreneurial Fredericton family had recognized the importance, and the potential of the Neill farm. The new owners intend to revitalize the property, and to create a local agri-tourism/hospitality business, proving an opportunity for future generations of Frederictonians to enjoy a local connection to agriculture and a piece of our collective history.

The Neill family farm is one of the few remaining urban farms in Canada. After 160 years of stewardship, it fills the Neill family with joy to be able to pass this torch to the next generation of farmers to continue their proud family legacy.

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