Give Now

Cook Group Chairman Donates 1,500 Acres To Nature Trust

Steve Ferguson's donation is the largest the state says it has on record.

  • Steve Ferguson and Mitch Daniels

    Image 1 of 4

    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    Cook Group Chairman Steve Ferguson (left) points out some of the features of his land to Governor Mitch Daniels.

  • Ferguson Farmhouse

    Image 2 of 4

    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    The Ferguson Farmhouse

  • Ferguson farmland

    Image 3 of 4

    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    The part of the Ferguson Farm that was donated to the Department of Natural Resources butts up to more than 2,000 acres of other property the DNR already uses for conservation.

  • cows

    Image 4 of 4

    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    Steve Ferguson also raises cattle on part of his land.

The chairman of Bloomington-based Cook Group has donated the first piece of land to the state’s Bicentennial Nature Trust. Steve Ferguson is dedicating 1,500 acres of his farm in Lawrence County for conservation efforts. Department of Natural Resources officials says it is the largest land donation on record.

Ferguson will retain ownership of the land, but even if it changes hands, the donation requires the land to be used for conservation purposes. Ferguson says the partnership is what he would want for the land that has been in his family for nearly two centuries.

“It gives you an opportunity to preserve and what you love and what you want to pass on,” he says.

Governor Mitch Daniels toured the land Wednesday. He says he hopes the gift inspires others to add their land to the trust, which commemorates 200 years of statehood.

“We’re breaking all the records and trying to surge forward as we approach our bicentennial,” Daniels says. “Both the gift and the timing are perfect.”

Indiana celebrates its bicentennial in 2016.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Environment Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook