Farm for Sale in Barton
As part of our Farmland Access Program, we are working with the owners of Decker Farm to find a new farmer to buy the land and run a commercial agricultural business. The farm has been an organic dairy for several years. The owners moved to a larger farm this past fall, and have decided to sell this farm. Interested farmers will need to submit a proposal (detailed below). The Vermont Land Trust and its advisory committee will then select a proposal through a competitive process.
The owners are currently working with VLT to conserve the farm. The owners will give a buyer the necessary time needed to secure financing. A closing may occur once a buyer has financing. The farm can be available for the upcoming 2018 cropping year.
The property is on 701 Cook Road near the rural town of Barton in Orleans County. The area is characterized by open farmland and the farm boasts mountain vistas to the north and south with views of farmed hillsides. Lords Brook flows through the wetland woods in the northern portion of the farm.
There are 130 acres with an estimated 60 acres of cropland and 30 acres of pasture. The farm is certified organic. The majority of the cropland is Cabot silt loam soil with 3% to 8% slopes. The lower pastures near the forested wetland are mapped as Moosilauke very fine sandy loam with 0% to 3% slopes. Other soil types include Nasmith loamy fine sand with 0% to 3% slopes and Peru fine sandy loam with 8% to 15% slopes. Water is provided by a drilled well with an adequate supply for a dairy operation. Rotational grazing, fencing, and watering systems have been installed for the pastures.
The farm includes the following buildings in working order:
- Farmhouse, built in 1965, recently renovated but needs some finishing and siding, 1,650 square feet of living space;
- Freestall dairy barn, built in 1970, good condition, 6,400 square feet, 50 freestalls, dairy equipment, and generator;
- Milkhouse, good condition, replaced 6 years ago, includes 4-stall flat parlor;
- Old dairy barn, fair condition, 5,336 square feet;
- Horse/equipment barn, fair condition, 2,460 square feet.
The farm is enrolled in the Vermont Department of Taxes Current use program; property taxes for 2017 were $4,523.
The purchase price of the farm is $220,000, which is the current appraised value subject to the conservation easement. A buyer will need to secure financing before closing.
The farm will be subject to a perpetual farmland conservation easement that will allow all types of agricultural uses and new agricultural structures, while limiting subdivision and commercial or residential development. The conservation easement will include the option to purchase at agricultural value. This option allows VLT to purchase the farm at its agricultural value should the buyer (or a future owner) attempt to sell the farm to a non-farmer. (Owners may also sell the farm to family members.) This provision helps ensure the availability of the property to future farmers. Additional farm labor housing may be constructed with prior approval. A Wetland Protection Zone totaling ±25 acres is included in the easement. A copy of the conservation easement is available for review.
We are hosting one open house on April 21 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the farm to allow potential buyers to see the property.
We strongly recommend attendance at an open house, since there is limited availability to see the farm outside of this date. Interested parties are asked to respond if planning to attend.
Additional Materials Available by Request
- Appraisal dated September 2017
- Conservation easement
- Ecological recommendations
- Workbook for cash flow and balance sheet
- Resources for completing a business plan can be found through the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board’s Farm and Forest Viability Program
A home inspection report has not been completed and the farm does not have a forest management plan. These will be the responsibility of the new landowner.
A buyer will be selected based on the following considerations:
- Price: (a) willingness of the farmer to meet the asking price; and (b) ability to secure financing at closing (formal financing approval is not necessary to submit a proposal).
- Farm Enterprise: (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 is given to those proposals where food, fiber or fuel is produced.
VLT is often presented with several good proposals, so this is a competitive process. Reaching a final decision on the farmer involves several steps. A decision-making team consisting of 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 May 11, 2018:
- Any conditions on a purchase. This is not binding, rather an indication of what you would be willing to pay and under what terms, when you would be able to close on the purchase, and what you might condition your offer on if you are selected to buy the property (e.g. the sale of your home, financing, etc.).
- A 3-year income and expense projection of your proposed farm operation.
- Balance sheet statement of your assets/net worth including farm and non-farm assets and liabilities.
- A description how you will finance the purchase of the farm and any capital improvements that are needed (please include a capital budget).
- 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 how you would finance them (provide documentation).
- Your qualifications should indicate that you can successfully execute your business plan. Strong agricultural references are very helpful.
- Marketing plan for products.
- Any historical financial information on your existing business.
Please email or mail your offer and related materials to Jon Ramsay at email@example.com or 8 Bailey Avenue, Montpelier, VT 05602. To request additional materials, call Jon at (802) 533-7705. If you have any further questions about the farm’s resources or the application 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.