The SILT Farm application is designed to ensure fairness as well as match best we can the farmer most suited to a particular farm, with the end goal being a successful farming operation.
If you are not applying to a specific farm, but would like us to know you’re out there looking, please send us an overview of the kind of farm you would like to acquire. We strongly recommend you study the application process below so you are prepared when a farm becomes available. Include in this initial pre-application
- Your name and phone number
- Range of acres
- Kind of operation – livestock (if so, what kind), horticulture, orchard, etc.
- Preferred location in Iowa (if no preference, please note).
- Preference for long-term, inheritable lease or purchase with SILT easement
If you are applying for a specific farm, supply all of the following documents:
- Resume and Cover letter with contact information for three to four references
- Include all relevant experience whether directly gained on-farm or not.
- Provide detailed time frames for your experience (at least to the month). If you’ve worked seasonally at the same farm in multiple years, clarify the months worked each year.
- Communicate in your cover letter how your values overlap with SILT’s regarding land.
- Include specific skill-sets and task mastery. (i.e. treating pink-eye, designing watering systems, installing high-tunnels, doing employee pay-roll).
- Include permission to perform a background and credit check.
- Provide title and contact information for at least three references (no more than four).
- At least two references must be non-family members.
- Business plan
- Essay responses – Please respond to the following prompts in 1,000 words or less. If you have barriers to writing, contact us about how we can accommodate you.
- How did you first become interested in farming and why do you want to be a farmer?
- What does it take for a farmer to be successful? Which of those skills or characteristics do you have, and which challenge you? How will you overcome challenges when they arise?
- What goals and expectations do you have for your life beyond farming? How will you meet those? (This might include relationships, education, leisure time, hobbies, travel, health, community building, and other income, living expenses, and retirement.) If you have a partner or family, how will their needs be met?
- Describe your need for land and current access to it. What are your minimum acreage requirements? The maximum you could reasonably use? Do you have any other access to property or the means to purchase it? Do you expect to inherit a farm someday?
- Why do you want to farm a Sustainable Iowa Land Trust farm? How does SILT fit into your career trajectory and your values as a farmer? Do you want to put your roots on this SILT farm until you retire, or is farming here a stepping stone to something else?
- (Optional) How do you identify yourself? How has your identity shaped your desire to farm and the challenges you’ve faced in becoming a farmer?
Submit all documents to firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the SILT Farmer Committee will get back to you. If you do not hear from someone within 2 weeks please call the office at (515) 278-0550 and we’ll be sure to follow up.