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67 Merchants Row
Rutland, VT, 05701
United States

(802) 417-1528

Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) promotes local food knowledge, production and market opportunities for farmers and community members throughout our region.

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Lease Opportunity at Hibbard Hill Farm (Orwell)

Kristin Smith

The owners of a 75 acre farm in Orwell are seeking a renter to start a farm operation. The property, located at the corner of Fisher Road and Hibbard Hill Road, includes hayland, pasture, and woodland and several barns and farm structures. The owners occupy a farmhouse on the property near the barns so no housing is available on site at this point. PROPERTY DESCRIPTION The property was created by a 2002 subdivision of a 320 acre dairy farm, originally protected by a conservation easement in 1995. Of the 75 acres, approximately half are wooded and half are hayfields and pasture. The current owners have not used any chemicals or artificial fertilizers anywhere on site in the last 10 years, so an organic certification is possible. There is a good supply of water on site, with numerous spring-fed streams, a man-made pond/reservoir and two drilled wells.

Infrastructure on the farm includes seven barns of various sizes: the largest is a 200 X 50 foot freestall barn with milking parlor, and the smallest is an old granary near the house. The freestall barn is mostly emptied out of stalls (about 20 remain) and is currently used as a storage area. The 12 cow milking set up is more or less intact, although the internal water distribution system needs to be rebuilt. There is also a 1500 gallon bulk tank. The buildings are sited on roughly two acres, but the freestall barn and the cupola barn are east of the house and far enough away to create some separation and privacy. Behind the freestall barn there is a large lined manure pit with manure remaining from 10 plus years ago. There is also an 80 X 30 foot concrete slab without sides to the west of the big barn that was the base of a silage bunker.

The owners would be amenable to potential uses of the parcel such as a small cheese making operation with 10 cows or so, a brewery or a vegetable or specialty crop operation. In past years, the farm has produced peaches, pears, honey and hops.

CONSERVATION RESTRICTIONS The farm is subject to a perpetual farmland conservation easement and right of first refusal held by the Vermont Land Trust.

INTERESTED FARMERS If interested, please contact Paul Wyncoop at pwyncoop@breadloaf.com.