The Vicksburg Therapeutic Riding Center, known as Rainbow Farms, is being forced to relocate due to recent eminent domain filings.
Eminent domain gives the government the right to take property for public use in exchange for financial compensation. Rainbow Farms, owned and operated by Leigh Ann Nosser, is one of 20 properties that city and county officials filed for eminent domain in March for the site of a new port complex.
“These eminent estate proceedings, while not undertaken lightly, were the last resort to acquire the necessary property at fair market value to ensure this important project comes to fruition for the benefit of the citizens of Vicksburg. and Warren County,” officials said in a joint statement.
Nosser said in a statement that she wanted a quick resolution. The main concern isn’t whether the farms have to move, it’s whether or not they will get the financing they need to fully rebuild.
“I don’t want to drag this out or fight, I just want it to be fair. It would put me out of business if they didn’t do the right thing to help me rebuild. It would be a real shame and prejudice to many people if the business ended. I spent my whole life building it and it would be a real disservice if the city and county didn’t do the right thing to regenerate me. It’s pretty straight forward and dry for me,” Nosser said.
Nosser noted that she has invested millions in Rainbow Farms over the past 34 years. As for therapy and riding lessons, Nosser plans to continue teaching during this transition. “I hope to stay where I am while everything is transferred.” Nosser thinks it will take a month or two to move. “It will take time to settle in and settle the animals.”
Moving will be a laborious process involving moving gear, saddles, equipment and horses which will need time to adjust to their new surroundings. Regardless of the big changes that lie ahead, Nosser remains loyal. She thinks things will work out for Rainbow Farms eventually.
Nosser is currently prospecting property off Oak Ridge Rd. for the new Rainbow Farms location. With the appropriate government compensation, the farms will be able to continue to provide the unique services offered to the Vicksburg community.
Sherry Holmberg, a therapist who works at Rainbow Farms, believes the community and its children need this business to continue to thrive.
Noting what makes Rainbow Farms so special, Holmberg said, “The horses, the kids, the atmosphere, to have the relaxing environment and the quiet, think how important that is. They (the therapy students) don’t have to dress up, they can be relaxed, be themselves and feel the calmness of being with the animals. It is so necessary for the children who benefit from it here.
Rainbow Farms has been providing specialized therapy and riding lessons to children for many years. To learn more about what they offer and do for the community, you can refer to this article from earlier this year.
Those wishing to make a donation can do so via the link on their Web page.