MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — A family is on a mission to fight for the family farm because they fear the city of Mt. Juliet will run a road right through to alleviate traffic.
The Ligon Farm here in Mt. Juliet has been in the family for seven generations.
Andy Ligon says farming isn't just a job — it's a lifestyle.
Not only do these animals and crops feed and clothe their families, it also feeds the community. All the same, Ligon says he fears the farm is in danger.
"On Christmas Day, I made a Christmas wish. And that was to save my family's farm."
The father and son fear they could lose their land.
Ligon made a social media post asking the people of Mt. Juliet to help stop a citywide proposal to build a bypass road that would cut right through the farm.
"Anytime a new development, new school, new infrastructure, new roadway, you name it, we're one of the first ones to be targeted. And unfortunately, one of the last people to know," Ligon said.
Mt. Juliet is a growing city and elected leaders are looking at ways to ease the traffic congestion on roads.
They say the Western Road Connector Project will do just that.
"We're trying to alleviate traffic in Mt. Juliet. Not only do we have traffic in Mt. Juliet from the people that live here, but the people who commute through and from and to," said Justin Beasley, public information officer with the city of Mt. Juliet.
The city says the plans are still in the very early stages.
"We're going to do right by everybody to make sure that if we have to cut through a certain part of the property, we're going to give them what they deserve for that land, and even more as we've done in the past," said Beasley.
The road will slice through the heartbeat of the Ligon farm.
"It cuts through the heart of this farm which is the highest-yielding section of the farm in the middle of the field," Ligon said.
Andy says this will be terrible, not only for the hay they grow, but also for wildlife if they're exposed to litter, pollution and too much traffic.
"I can't describe. It's just a wave of emotions that rips your heart out."
The city held a public meeting on the matter on December 6th at Charlie Daniels Park where close to 100 people were in attendance.
Written public comment on the matter had to be postmarked by Dec. 29.
The Ligon family is urging the community to voice their concerns not to allow a bypass to run through their property.
If you want to fill out the comment card, you can email it to Engineering@mtjuliet-tn.gov or bring it to our Public Works Department at 71 E. Hill Street.