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Though he's passionate about the future of agricultural production, Luther Welch also wants producers to remember how farming has evolved over the years. That’s why he’s worked to establish the Northern Neck Farm Museum in Heathsville, Va.
He’s donated a conservation easement of more than 80 acres of his farmland to establish the museum and its main attraction: a barn that will house a collection of equipment, much of it used by Welch throughout his more than 50 years of farming. He saved equipment that once was considered essential and is now obsolete, and he’s collected other pieces through sales and auctions.
Welch wants to offer visitors a visual history of how agriculture has evolved in the region. His extensive collection includes early, self-propelled grain harvesters, single-row corn pickers, 1915 and 1934 McCormick Deering tractors and hundreds of other antique pieces that fill the barn.
The museum helps visitors learn about the heritage of the region’s agriculture, from the Native Americans and early settlers to the commercial canneries that once lined the Northern Neck shores.
The museum will also be a gathering place for producer meetings.
Today, Welch and his wife, Margaret, work with a dedicated group of neighbors to build the museum’s first permanent building to house the exhibits. It’s Welch’s long-time goal to expand the museum to become an area attraction and learning center.
Welch invites producers to stop by, learn more about the area and review the equipment collection. You can visit…