Horse Farms Forever is a compact and powerful nonprofit,
founded in 2018 to:


Marion County’s Farmland Preservation Area was established in 2005. Its mineral-rich soil and water, and spring sheds are subject to increasing development and roadway threats. We participate and defend.


The culture, character and vibrant economy of greater Ocala is uniquely based on the presence of horses and horse farms. We share the facts.


Landowners who love their land and wish to see it passed along to future generations have many options. We show the way.


The blueprint for Rural Land Management is written at the county level and made strong by collaboration and community influence. We facilitate progress.



See what we’re protecting and who is with us.

The Threats Are Real

From new roadways to rezoning. We are here to gather and multiply all of the voices that understand the value of our rural heritage and seek to preserve it forever.


Proactive Planning to Save Farmland

It’s a familiar and sad chain of events when farmland is lost- growth leads to unplanned development which leads to sprawl. Without intention, open spaces and beautiful places shrink away and the character of a community is changed beyond recognition. Matt Varney comes from a family of real estate developers, and he’s passionate about farmland preservation. Together with Rob and Chris Desino, they operate Ocala Horse Properties – representing the largest portfolio of horse properties in the world. Ocala Horse Properties has been a steadfast ally in forwarding our mission, right from the beginning. Varney and the Desinos are all Founding Members, and Ocala Horse Properties is a Corporate Founder and Gold Sponsor of this year’s Conservation Summit.

Naturally Healthy Ocala

The great explorer and forest conservation advocate, John Muir, said

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”

Like Muir, we recognize the instinctive connection between beautiful landscapes and healthy healing. 

We are honored to have AdventHealth Ocala as a Charter Member and Gold Sponsor of our Conservation Summit – happening in just a week on November 23. AdventHealth Marketing Manager, Natalie McComb, echoes the sentiments of John Muir as she explains why it is so important for Marion County to have conversations about conservation:

“As healthcare providers, we know that experiencing nature can be a powerful tool in the healing process. Our environment can also greatly impact our health and quality of life. AdventHealth Ocala is excited to support this year’s Horse Farms Forever Conservation Summit.”

Ensuring Marion County’s Tomorrow

The Rudnianyns are landowners, philanthropists, and real estate developers here in Marion County. Todd Rudnianyn recently aligned his business, Neighborhood Storage, with Horse Farms Forever as a Charter Member and Gold Sponsor of our Conservation Summit, coming right up on November 23. Rudnianyn is a Marion county native. He is fluent in English, Korean, and Spanish. We thank Neighborhood Storage for their support of our mission, and Todd Rudnianyn for being so kind to engage with us in a conversation about conservation.

Ocala Breeder’s Sales Hosts Conservation Summit In Its Newly-Renovated Facility

Ocala Breeder’s Sales President, Tom Ventura, describes the extensive renovations to their facility that took place over the past couple of years. Imagine our excitement when they so kindly offered us this amazing facility for this year’s Conservation Summit! We are so grateful for OBS’ support as a Founding Corporate Member and Gold Sponsor.

Marion County’s Farmland Is It’s “Factory Floor”

The American Farmland Trust (AFT) has been an inspiration and source of knowledge for us here at Horse Farms Forever (HFF) since our inception 3 years ago. At last year’s Summit, AFT’s Billy Van Pelt was treated to a helicopter ride over the top of Marion County by HFF President, Bernie Little. This is what he had to say about the significance of Ocala/Marion County’s Farmland after seeing it from the air.

Charlotte Weber Honored with the Acorn Conservation Award

Horse Farms Forever is honored to announce that the inaugural Acorn Conservation Award will be presented to Charlotte Weber, Owner of Live Oak Stud, at the upcoming Conservation Summit on November 23rd at Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company. The Award will be presented by Hall of Fame trainer, Mark Casse.

Does Farmland Preservation Matter To Marion County?

In just a month, the Marion County Quality of Life Survey results will be revealed at our Conservation Summit. These results are the culmination of a year’s work, building a collaborative partnership with the business community and working with an independent research firm.

Visual Inspiration For Conservation

The stunning photos of Marion County landscapes, horses and dogs, that you see on our website and social media are graciously donated by Elma Garcia – HFF Founder, Board Member and Gold Sponsor of this year’s Conservation Summit. Elma’s love for the landscape is contagious in each photograph and short film she so kindly allows us to use in support of our mission. Elma is an artist and an equestrian and a treasured member of our team.

Marion County Talks Conservation

This is the first of a series where we hear directly from the farms, non-profits and businesses who are standing in support of farmland preservation in the midst of our growing economy. As we anticipate the Conservations About Conservation- Summit 2021 next month, we’re sparking the exchange of thoughts and ideas. What do your neighbors think about preserving our farmland? What do you think?

We had conversations about conservation with George Isaacs of Bridlewood Farm, Valerie Dailey of Showcase Properties of Central Florida, and Linda Bammann of Laughing Horse Farm. Here’s what they had to say.

Four New Sponsors Join The Conversation

Horse Farms Forever Welcomes Golden Ocala/World Equestrian Center, Icard Merrill, Advanced Myographics, and Cox Communications.

The business community is turning out in force to support Horse Farms Forever’s second annual Conservation Summit. The event puts the spotlight on Marion County’s unique quality of life advantages – horses, horse farms and beautiful open spaces.

“We are initiating conversations around the community centered around farmland preservation and conservation,” says Horse Farms Forever Executive Director, Sara Fennessy. “There is an amazing groundswell of interest in investing in the future of Marion County, and keeping it open and beautiful. Close to 40 businesses, non-profits and farms have aligned with us as sponsors for the Summit on November 23 at Ocala Breeder’s Sales. County officials have registered to attend and expressed their enthusiasm in having this conversation. We are gathering those voices together and creating a spark. Each new sponsor brings a unique and valuable perspective to the community-wide conversation.”

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Like our horses, we are safer and stronger together.