Can A County Outside Nashville Grow Without Sacrificing Its Farms?

Agriculture is already huge in Robertson County's economy, and officials hope with smart planning it will only get bigger. Photo courtesy Deb Varallo

Agriculture is already huge in Robertson County’s economy, and officials hope with smart planning it will only get bigger. Photo courtesy Deb Varallo

As the area surrounding Nashville grows over the next few decades, you might picture taller buildings, denser traffic, and ever more farmland sprouting subdivisions.  That’s not what everyone in Robertson County is envisioning.  Tonight officials there will unveil a draft of a plan for growth in which preserving agriculture is key.

Residents who weighed in at early workshops and surveys preferred thoughtful growth in targeted areas, so as not to tear up family farms that have been there for generations.

Karen Wortman bought a few dozen acres in Robertson County a decade ago, and now keeps goats, chickens and cows.  Wortman says it’s hard work, and farmers don’t give up the land easily.

“They have that pride.  They don’t want to see it turned into a subdivision or another strip mall that is vacant, or is thriving for a short while and then everyone decides to move to the other side of the county, and then that one becomes vacant.  They don’t want to see that.  We like to be able to look out our windows and just see green.”

Tonight’s meeting will take public input on the draft of the plan, which is meant to guide future infrastructure as well as road development.


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