Some cash in on property, she decided to permanently save her Virginia farmland: 'It is my legacy'

Posted at 11:37 AM, Jan 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-12 11:51:53-05

POWHATAN COUNTY, Va. -- Oakdale Equestrian Center in Powhatan County, Virginia, has been described as a slice of heaven on Earth

Terry Adcock called her 130-acre farm, which is home to 34 horses, pure bliss.

"When I wake up that is the best part of the day," Adcock said. "You’ve got land with woods. You’ve got land with creeks. You’ve got fields. You’ve got ponds. There is nothing any better than Oakdale."

Adock, 67, has owned the rural treasure on Cartersville Road for 25 years.

"The horses are my best friends," Adcock said. "No day is the same. It is just pure enjoyment."

Oakdale Equestrian Center in Powhatan County

From the pastures to the paddocks, Adcock wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

"There is nothing better. I don’t need to go anywhere for vacation. I got a permanent vacation here," she said.

The farm’s roots run deep.

Adcock's historic home was built in 1835.

But beyond the bucolic setting, Adcock sees a threat over the horizon.

Oakdale Equestrian Center in Powhatan County

"You would have house, house, and house. It would all be gone,” Adcock said about her worries over encroaching development in Powhatan. "If we don’t keep that part of the country we’ll never have it again."

Parker Agelasto, the Executive Director of the Capital Region Land Conservancy, said rural character and open spaces across the county and Central Virginia as a whole are disappearing.

He says the Richmond region is failing to protect its natural resources.

"Sadly, once you develop a property it is difficult to get it back to a natural state," Agelasto said. "And in our region, only six percent of our land is considered permanently protected. Six percent! Not very much."

Without action, Agelasto laments the loss of landmarks that make Virginia unique like Oakdale.

Oakdale Equestrian Center in Powhatan County

"When you come out to a place like this and you see the structures that date to the 1830s. And you see it being cared for hundreds of years you do get that sense of place. You get that sense of history,” Agelasto said.

Terry Adcock, who advocates for land preservation, is leading by example.

"Every animal has somewhere to be safe. All of my animals are happy. That is all I want,” Adcock said.

Through a partnership with the non-profit CRLC and the Monacan Soil & Water Conservation District, Adcock placed her farm under a conservation easement.

That means it will remain a farm forever.

“You go home at night and you feel good. That is what is important,” Adcock said.

Through the easement, Adcock will receive tax credits. She could have cashed in and sold the land for maximum profit. Instead, she chose preservation.

“Keeping equestrian centers operational when there is so much threat of development around here. It is a very important aspect of Powhatan County,” Agelasto said.

Adcock has been mulling the idea to protect her farm for a decade.

Oakdale Equestrian Center in Powhatan County

Some nearby farmers are finding inspiration in her decision to save.

”I know 100% already because already one of my neighbors is putting his land in,” Adcock said. “I would hope 20 of my neighbors do it.”

“It is probably the most selfless act anyone can do,” Agelasto added. “But when you donate an easement you’re making it permanent and perpetual.”

Terry Adcock said she was richer knowing the horse farm, which is her heart and soul, will live on long after she rides off into the sunset.

”That is why I put it in the conservation easement,” Adcock said. “So that when I’m gone it will still be here. It is definitely my legacy. The farm is more important to me than anything."

Watch Greg McQuade's stories on CBS 6 and If you know someone Greg should profile, email him at

Do you know about a good news story happening in your community? Click here to email and the CBS 6 News team.

EAT IT, VIRGINIA restaurant news and interviews



Watch 'The Jennifer Hudson Show' weekdays at 3 p.m. on CBS 6!

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.