Farmer needed to lease Stonecrest Farm

Lopez Community Land Trust is seeking a long-term lessee for the 48-acre Stonecrest Farm on Lopez Island. . Letters of interest are due August 21, 2017.

Request for Proposals

Stage I: Re- Issued July 3, 2017 Due: August 21, 2017

Stage II: By invitation Due: November 30, 2017

Issued by Lopez Community Land Trust - EOE

1.0 Project Background

Lopez Community Land Trust (LCLT) was founded in 1989 with the expressed goal of building a diverse, sustainable island community. A key purpose of the organization is to acquire and hold land in trust in order to provide permanently affordable access to land for quality affordable housing, sustainable agriculture, forestry, cottage industries and cooperatives while developing and exercising responsible ecological practices.

LCLT is seeking a long-term lessee for the 48-acre Stonecrest Farm on Lopez Island. The lessee may be an individual, couple, family or a group, such as a cooperative. The lessee must be willing to commit to a minimum 60-month lease with the desire to enter into a longer-term lease. The lessee must be committed to the development of a successful, dynamic, ecologically balanced and viable farm enterprise that meets the following:

• Improves soils;

• Strengthens the local food system through access to local foods and farm products, which may include value-added products;

• Implements sound business practices;

• Retains and invigorates the working rural character of Lopez Island through regenerative economic and agriculture practices;

• Works with LCLT’s program coordinator to allow planned community access and classes on the farm.

• Works with LCLT”s intern program.

2.0 Project Timeline 2017 in Two Stages

Stage 1: Re-issued July 3, 2017 Due: August 21, 2017

Stage I LOI is due by 5 p.m. August 21, 2017.

LCLT will contact you on or before September 1, 2017 and let you know if you are invited to submit a Stage II proposal.

Stage II proposals are due by November 30, 2017 at 5 p.m.

LCLT will contact you on or before December 15, 2017 if the final selection has been made.

3.0 Specifications for Stage I

Stage I requires a Letter of Interest (LOI) no longer than three typed pages. Prior to submitting a LOI please read the entire packet of information provided by LCLT to self evaluate whether you are a good fit.

In the Stage I, three page LOI please include the following information:

a) Name, address, phone and email contact for the primary contact person as well as each person involved in the enterprise.

b) A description of what inspires you to farm.

c) A statement on your need to access to affordable farmland/farm.

d) Some background on your farm aptitude and experience including at least two local farm related references.

e) Your approach to farming at Stonecrest Farm i.e. livestock, hay, grains, market garden, value-added production, etc. and specifically who will do the actual work of each aspect of the farm.

f) Your willingness to collaborate with LCLT in training and education programs. (This is not a requirement but LCLT would like to host some classes and workshops on the farm and the farmer may choose to be involved.)

g) A statement on how you (and members of the team) plan to support yourself(s) financially either off the farm, on the farm or combination thereof.

In addition to the three pages, please include a Personal Financial statement including assets, debt and current income of all who will be involved. An example would be:

-Name of each person who will be engaged in the farm operation and;

-Annual income of each person:

-Name of each person who will be engaged in the farm operation and;

-Annual income of each person:

1) $2,000

2) between $25,000 & $50,000

3) >$50,000 -

Description of assets held by each person and the total value associated with each person:

1) $2,000

2) between $25,000 & $50,000

3) >$50,000

- Description of the debt held by each person and the total debt associated with each person:

 

Specifications for Stage II

The Stage II proposal shall minimally include these elements in this order: A farm management and business plan including both minimum and maximum production on the land. For livestock please refer to the attached AUM plan. The maximum production limits would ensure that the farm is not pushed beyond carrying capacities (an ecological consideration) or intensity of development (a social and aesthetic consideration). The minimum production standard would ensure that the farm is able to support the defined goals both ecologically and economically. The farm plan will also need to specifically address the following:

1) How the enterprise will fit the size and configuration of farm and improve the soils;

2) How the farm plan will fit into the existing local farm products offered and whether it will compete and/or compliment existing local markets;

3) Methods utilized for resilient and sustainable farming given changes in climate, water and food systems;

4) Strengthen the local food system and access to local foods;

5) Describe working the farm i.e. animals, market garden, value-added, classes, etc., including available markets and a three-year income and expense projection of your proposed farm operations;

6) Describe your philosophical approach to stewardship of the land including what experience you have in land stewardship and who/what you draw your inspiration;

7) Qualifications that indicate you can successfully execute your business and management plan including mechanical aptitude;

8) Willingness for collaboration with LCLT’s intern and other life skill educational programs as well as ideas you may have, and

9) Explain why you should be chosen for this position.

10) Explain or describe any other aspects you feel the need to address.

Make sure to clearly describe the management structure you are proposing i.e. LLC, cooperative, etc. including the role of each person. Describe the background and experience of each person, including business and farming experience as well as related skills such as mechanical, planning, etc. that will help with farm operations and maintenance. Name one person who will serve as the point of contact.

A one-bedroom house is available on the property. The lessee or designee must live on the farm as a full time residence. The initial land lease on approximately 46 acres, which includes sole use of the barn, greenhouse, livestock pens, sheep shearing shed, hay shed and a one-bedroom house shall be $12,000 annually, payable each month in $1,000 payments plus utilities, land taxes & insurance for the farm (excluding the Life Estate.

The Proposal must demonstrate how the farm plan will meet this financial requirement. If your business plan reflects the need for a different lease fee please explain.

The current owners of Stonecrest Farm, Cathy and Bob Clemens, will maintain a Life Estate on the property. They will occupy the main farmhouse and be responsible for maintenance and all costs directly associated with the farmhouse.

Prior to submission of the Proposal please arrange for a complete tour of the farm and an introduction to Bob and Cathy, through LCLT staff. Please comment in the Proposal your response to any concerns, questions and observations you have about the Life Estate arrangement.

Prior to submitting a Proposal read the: Otis Land Use report, LCLT-LIFT document including information on the long-term lease, list of equipment and tools that may be part of the lease, a map of the farm, the current farm plan and AUM. Please note that if you are chosen for this position a long-term lease will be negotiated including a formula for equity gain associated with capital improvements, maintenance and replacement responsibilities and other details.

4.0 Proposal Instructions

Respondent shall submit the following additional information with the response. LCLT reserves the right to reject a proposal if the requested information and documentation is incomplete or insufficient.

¨ Availability Detail time frame for availability for moving to the farm.

¨ Contact Information and references INCLUDE:

Name, address, phone and email contact for the primary contact person.

Provide at least three relevant references with contact information.

5.0 Submittals, Inquiries, and Other Communication

Please contact LCLT at the phone number or email below with questions about either Stage I or Stage II.

Submit one electronic copy of the proposal (Word, Excel or PDF format) to: [email protected] Attn: Sandy Bishop

It is the sole responsibility of the Respondent to see that its Stage I proposal is received by August 21, 2017 by 5 p.m. and Stage II by November 30, 2017 at 5 p.m. LCLT will respond within 24 hours of receipt. If you do not hear from us please contact LCLT at 360.468.3723 or email [email protected] to be sure the proposal was received.

Resources:

http://www.agbizcenter.org/

http://extension.wsu.edu/sanjuan/

http://sjcarc.org/

http://organicfarmschool.org/#home

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