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THE VALLEY DISPATCH, Preserving a town’s rural integrity can be difficult in these times of strip malls and condominium complexes, but Dracut residents have made it a priority for their community.

The Merrimack Valley town is fortunate to be the home of a number of working farms, including Taplin Farm, Brox Farm, Shaw Farms and Leczynski Farm.

A member of the Taplin family has run its nearly 100-acre spread for 90 years and has no plans to change ownership. They know farming is a way of life, not merely an occupation. It offers hard work, long hours, and extreme temperatures. But it also offers a chance to be the boss and to work with family members.

Brox Farm has been operated by Daniel Dumaresq since 1994. Dumaresq recently purchased the Leczynski Farm and the town of Dracut approved an Agricultural Preservation Restriction for the property. And, of course, former selectman Warren Shaw has owned and operated the popular Shaw Farms for many years.

Dracut residents are proud of their community’s rural character and charming vistas. The town has made great strides in working to preserve its farms and open spaces. We congratulate those farmers who continue to work the land and the town for supporting their successful efforts.