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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.

What's Growin' On

An online community of farmers in the Rutland region hosted by the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link

Middletown Farm Seeks Dairy Farmer

Jen Miller

MIDDLETOWN FARM - South Londonderry, VT REQUEST FOR DAIRY FARMER

Overview:  The owners of Middletown Farm and the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) are looking for a highly qualified dairy farmer to utilize the farm. This is a unique opportunity made possible by the commitment of the farm’s owners, Barry and Wendy Rowland and VLT’s Farmland Access program, which connects beginning farmers with affordable farmland. Thanks to their support: the farm will be made available to a dairy farmer; the buildings, equipment and facilities will be maintained; and housing will be provided. There is the possibility of long-term farm tenure and equity building. The existing dairy herd is available until early August so please respond immediately if interested.

The goals of a successful partnership on Middletown Farm are:

  • Ensuring the farm remains a viable dairy farm into the future;
  • Ensuring the farm is well-maintained and utilized in a productive and sustainable manner;
  • Establishing a relationship with West River Creamery. The farmer sells a portion of the milk directly to the creamery and works cooperatively to ensure that high-quality milk is produced. A floor price has been established for milk sold directly to the creamery.
  • Establishing and maintaining open communication between the farmer and owners.

Tenure Description: The dairy herd will be owned by the farmer with all milk sales going directly to the farmer. The owners are willing to provide financing to a farmer for the acquisition of a herd if needed. Ideally a farmer will remain on the farm for five years or more. During that time, the farmer will have a lease on the land that is contingent on the continued use of the farm as a dairy operation. The farmer can decide to make equity-building payments which will be stored in an account until the end of the lease. Provided the farmer performs as expected under the lease, those payments will be made available to the farmer at the end of the lease. If both parties agree, the lease may be extended. There is an expectation that the farmer will work cooperatively with a dairy farm business planning consultant to ensure the long-term viability of the operation.

Property Description:  Middletown Farm is a 200+ acre farm with approximately 60 acres of open usable pasture and cropland. The tie-stall dairy barn can hold approximately 60 milk cows with additional housing for young stock. A double-6 parlor is used for milking. Additional structures include a loafing barn, equipment shed and garage. A three-bedroom house with an additional barn may be occupied by the farmer. An additional +/- 60 acres of hayland is available on neighboring parcels.

Farmer Recruitment Process:  Interested farmers are asked to submit a letter of interest and a resume, addressing the following areas:

1)      What qualifies you to manage the dairy farm at Middletown Farm?

2)      What types of investments in cattle or equipment will you require in order to get up and running at the farm?

3)      What will success look like at Middleton Farm under your management, and how long will it take to get there?

There is one open house on ­­­­­­­August 9th  from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The open house will be an opportunity for prospective farmers to walk the property, inspect the house and barns, and ask questions. Please respond to Jon Ramsay (jramsay@vlt.org) if you plan to join us at an open house. Visiting the property is strongly recommended. If you are unable to make this date but would like to visit the property, please contact us and we’ll try to arrange another time.

Please send your letter and resume to Jon Ramsay, PO Box 143 Greensboro, VT 05841 or e-mail jramsay@vlt.org. E-mail is preferable. VLT and the owners will review letters and plan to interview finalists.  We look forward to hearing from you.