The Vermont Land Trust is selling 283 acres of farm and forestland in Fayston, Vermont to a highly qualified individual or organization who will develop a new farm enterprise on the land. This is a unique opportunity made possible by the former owner, Skip Tenney, who donated the land to VLT to ensure it will remain undeveloped and actively used for agricultural and forestry purposes.
VLT envisions the applicant will develop an agricultural enterprise that fits the size and scale of the farm’s agricultural resource, maintains the forest using sound management practices, and accommodates public recreational access to trails on the property and adjacent lands.
The Tenney Farm is a scenic and secluded hill farm on Marble Hill Road in southeastern Fayston, a couple of miles southwest of the village of Waitsfield. The property includes 30 acres of rolling open land and 248 acres of forestland accessible from nearly one mile of frontage on Marble Hill Road. The southerly portion of Marble Hill Road is an unmaintained, Class IV section of road, which is used by the public for non-motorized recreation.
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The Tenney Farm includes approximately 30 acres of open land available for agriculture. Historically the fields have been used for pasture, hay, and crops for the dairy and poultry farms that operated between 1940 and 1955. Since that time, the fields have been kept open through annual haying or brush hogging. The property’s elevation ranges from 1,200 feet to 1,700 feet. The topography and agricultural soils present opportunities for a variety of agricultural enterprises, including orchards and fruit production, or grass and pasture-based operations featuring goats, sheep, poultry or cattle.
The property includes: a four bedroom 1850s farmhouse; a 40’ x 20’ cattle barn with an attached 50 x 20’ four-bay shed and a freestanding woodshed. These structures range in condition from fair to poor. A home inspection report is available for review. The house has a new septic system with the capacity to serve four bedrooms.
The property’s expansive forestland is characterized by several forest types including: northern hardwoods, hemlock, red spruce, red pine and a mixed plantation. A 52-acre sugarbush located in the southeasterly corner of the property is subject to a maple tap lease by a local maple syrup producer until 2034. There has been no commercial logging on the property for at least forty years. The quality of the timber is mixed, but generally good. There are three wetland areas on the property, including a vernal pool, a beaver complex, and a seepage swamp, as well as other areas that are commonly damp.
Several public trails traverse the Tenney Farm, including the Catamount Trail, and four-season recreational trails used by the public for walking, skiing, and mountain biking. These trails connect to the Town of Fayston’s Chase Brook Forest, which adjoins the Tenney Farm to the west, and to a network of recreational trails located on State and private lands to the south and east of the farm.
The Tenney Farm will be sold subject to a conservation easement that ensures long-term agricultural and forestry use of the land. New agricultural and forestry structures may be built on the farm and the existing home maintained. The conservation easement will also include an option to purchase at agricultural value. This option allows VLT to purchase the farm at its agricultural value when the buyer (or a future owner) seeks to sell the farm. This provision is added to the easement to ensure the long-term affordability of the property to future farm owner-operators.
The asking price is $225,000. This is the appraised restricted value of the 283-acre property subject to a Vermont Land Trust conservation easement and future farmer affordability provisions, as described above.
We are hosting two open houses at the farm. They will be held on September 4th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on September 13th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The open houses will be your opportunity to walk the property, inspect the house and barns, and ask questions of VLT staff.
Interested buyers are asked to submit a letter of interest by October 13, 2014. The letter should not exceed ten pages and should address the following areas:
If you have any further questions about the farm resource and process, or if you cannot make this deadline but are interested in the farm, contact us anyway; we will keep you informed of the progress of the farm sale.
VLT will select a concept from a buyer who best fits the following criteria:
VLT is often presented with several good proposals, so this is a competitive process. Reaching a final decision on the farm buyer involves several steps. A decision-making team consisting of VLT staff members will reach a consensus on the top-tier proposals, followed by in-person interviews and reference checks for final candidates. Additionally, VLT may seek input from an independent advisory committee before reaching a final decision. Upon completion of this process, a final buyer for the Tenney Farm will be selected.
We look forward to hearing from you.
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