SILT is creating affordable land access for Iowa’s sustainable food farmers.


SILT works with landowners to give away the right to develop the land for houses or plant it to conventional commodity crops. When those rights disappear, the price of the land comes down. Not just for now, but for the next 7 generations.

Land protected with a conservation easement like this is available for purchase to you for as much as 40 percent less than surrounding land. Your mortgage is lower and your entry into farming is cheaper. You enjoy private ownership of your farm with SILT serving only as a monitor, checking in once a year to make sure everything happening on your farm complies with the easement. That’s the trade-off for discounted land, but most farmers find it pretty easy.

Sometimes landowners give SILT their land. That’s a different deal. 

On land SILT owns, you’ll be able to lease the land itself for that same 40% discount but rent-to-own any buildings the landowner donated. Buildings are valued at the assessed rate, not the appraised rate, almost guaranteeing a nearly 30% discount. You’ll buy the buildings interest-free and when you or your family is done with them, SILT will buy them back. Your monthly rent will include taxes, insurance and a SILT admin and building fee, but we believe you’ll agree that the final number is very affordable.

Time on the land, not in your truck.

SILT is targeting parcels of all sizes near major metro areas, giving you proximity to a local foods direct-sale, retail and wholesale market. Eventually, SILT expects to be active in supporting food hubs and aggregators to increase odds of success and meet your needs from seed to sale.

Not quite ready to start farming? 

SILT will continue to network with farmer education organizations such as Practical Farmers of Iowa, MOSES and the Land Stewardship Project to inform you of every chance to improve your skill set and practices, build a business plan that will success, seek out the right markets for you and more.

Fill out our Farm Seeker Survey and sign up for our monthly e-blast to know when farms become available!

“When there’s plenty of money, the speculators and bankers beg it first, and the farmers always lose out in the long run. What we need is a law to fix the value of land and remove it from speculators.”  1916. 

Three Miles Square. Paul Corey. 1939

SILT’s Sustainability Requirements
SILT Farm Application