Luzum Heritage Farm Applications Open
Dear Prospective SILT Farmers,
Welcome! We’re happy you’re interested in SILT’s newest farm near Decorah. This application process is designed to help our review committee select, in a fair and transparent way, candidates who are best prepared to succeed on a SILT farm. Read about this incredible, walk-on farm and decide if it’s a good fit for you!
We are now taking applications through February 2018 for the 2018/2019 season with a decision soon thereafter. Our current tenant understands SILT has chosen to make this a transition year with applications remaining open.
The farmer or farmers chosen will receive a 3-year ground lease. Upon a successful first 3 years, farmers will be offered a 20-year inheritable lease (longest allowed by Iowa law) with the option to renew. With that 20-year lease comes the option to purchase the home and farm buildings.
If you are applying as a farm partnership with someone else (including a spouse or partner), please provide resumes and references for each partner, but submit one cover letter, business plan, and set of essay responses on behalf of the farm business partnership (even if one partner will be more heavily engaged than the other). If you will be moving to the farm with a spouse or other partner, but only one of you will be engaged in the farm business, the farmer should complete the application. Farmer cooperatives, collectives and LLCs are welcomed, but SILT requires proof of the legal entity before final approval.
NOTICE: Complete all portions of the application. If there is anything in this application that does not appear to apply to your situation, write N/A for Not Applicable.
Application Timeline: SILT/Luzum Farm Schedule
|1. Prospective candidates submit complete SILT application.|| DEADLINE Feb. 28, 2018|
|2. SILT reviews materials & selects candidates for interviews||Mid-March|
|3. SILT conducts interviews||Late March|
|4. Top candidate selected and notified||April 1|
|5. Voluntary disclosure from top candidate, SILT conducts criminal background check.||Mid-April|
|6. Paperwork signed, candidate becomes a SILT farmer!||Late April|
|7. Farm move-in!||Nov. 1, 2018|
|8. Other candidates receive feedback||April|
- Resume and Cover letter with contact information for three to four references
- Business plan
- Essay responses
- Permission to perform background/credit checks
Resume and Cover Letter
- Include all relevant experience whether directly gained on-farm or not.
- Provide detailed timeframes 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).
- Provide title and contact information for at least three references (no more than four).
- At least two references must be non-family members.
View the business plan checklist.
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 your application to email@example.com no later than midnight, Feb. 28. Late applications will not be considered.
Submit your application to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than midnight, Feb. 28, 2018 for occupying the farm Nov. 1, 2018. Late applications will not be considered.
Kayla Koether, Chair, SILT Farmer Committee