The owners of Meadow View Farm and the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) are looking for a highly qualified farmer to utilize the farm. This is a unique opportunity made possible by the commitment of the farm’s owners and VLT’s Farmland Access Program, which connects farmers with affordable farmland. Thanks to the owners’ support: the farm will be made available to a farmer; the buildings and facilities will be maintained; and housing can be provided. There is the possibility of long-term farm tenure and equity building.
The goals of a successful partnership on Meadow View Farm are:
- Ensuring the farm remains viable into the future producing food or fiber;
- Ensuring the farm is well-maintained and used in a productive and sustainable manner;
- Establishing and maintaining open communication between the farmer and owners.
The future farm business will be owned and operated by the incoming farmer. The property owner is willing to lease the farm long term to a farmer to allow time to build a viable business. The owner is willing to invest in infrastructure to make the operation successful. The lease rate is negotiable depending on the amount of land the farmer is using, the scale of the farm business and whether housing is included or not. The intent is to allow a farmer affordable access to the land. Over the long term, the owner would consider selling a portion of the farm (111-acres including a newly constructed 36x72 post and beam barn, an approved house lot, and a 411,000-gallon pond) to the incoming farm buyer.
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Meadow View Farm is located on both sides of Pomfret Road approximately two miles north of Woodstock Village. Thirty acres of tillable land are relatively flat and fertile with Hinckley, Ninigret, Rumney and Dummerston sandy loam soils. Eight acres are prime agricultural soils and 20 acres are statewide important soils. An additional 20 acres of land are being reclaimed for pasture. The farm has 1,400 feet of frontage on Barnard Brook. The farm had been a dairy operation until the early 1980s. Since then it has been in hay production. The current owner is restoring areas that were once pasture and constructing ponds that could be used for irrigation. The land is enrolled in the Current Use program and forestland is managed in accordance with forestry plan.
There are three potential housing options at the farm. The first is to lease the existing 4-bedroom, 2 ½ bathroom farmhouse with an attached two car garage. The second is to purchase a portion of the farm and construct a new home on an approved house lot. The third option would be for the farmer to convert the second story of the barn into housing space. The property owner is constructing a 36’x72’ post and beam, two-story barn that a farmer could use for a variety of purposes.
We are hosting an open house at the farm to allow potential buyers to see the property on December 17, 2016 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. If you cannot attend the open house please contact VLT to set up an appointment to see the farm.
Farmer Recruitment Process
The owner and VLT will select a proposal from a farmer who best fits the following criteria:
- Farm Enterprise: The farming enterprise described in the farmer’s proposal is: (a) well suited to the size, soils, and configuration of the farm; (b) well adapted to local markets for farm products and will contribute to the local farm economy; (c) likely to encourage long-term commercial use of the farmland; and (d) economically feasible.
- Farming Experience: Demonstrated farming experience and training that relates to the proposed farm operation.
- Food & Fiber: Priority will be given to those proposals where food or fiber for human use is produced. Also if the farmer has a plan for the re-introduction of dairy/micro-dairy to the farm.
Often several good proposals are submitted, so this is a competitive process. Reaching a final decision on the farmer involves several steps. A decision-making team consisting of the owner, VLT staff members and an advisory committee will reach consensus on the top-tier proposals followed by in-person interviews and reference checks.
Requirements of Proposal
If you are interested in submitting a proposal, we will need the following by February 24, 2017:
- Any conditions on a lease. This is not binding, rather an indication of what you would be willing to do and under what terms.
- Documentation that you can pay rent. This can be a projection on cash flow; a farm-business balance sheet; a statement of your assets/net worth; or it can be any combination of such materials.
- Preliminary land-use plan for the farm. This would include a broad overview of the near- and long-term use of the land. Please indicate any changes and improvements to the property you envision and what you may ask the landowner to consider providing.
- A three-year income and expense projection of your proposed farm operation.
- Your qualifications should indicate that you can successfully execute your business plan. Strong agricultural references are very helpful.
- Any other information that you think is important for us to consider. This may include an analysis of markets to sell products, a SWOT analysis, or press regarding past agricultural operations.
We look forward to hearing from you.