I’m passing on a fantastic opportunity today, which I hope many of you will consider and learn from. SFA has been about the business of developing two key components of sustainability and sustainable agriculture for many years. Our work in the areas of developing and promoting soil health-focused farming practices as well as developing beginning farmers are ways in which SFA adds value to the agricultural community.
I met Ivan Arenson at a recent Slow Money Fundraising event. After learning about SFA and our work, he approached me for feedback and ideas about his Fish Family Farms Request for Proposal. Click here to download the documents.
In the normal course of my work, I run into people who have a farming opportunity or land available and are just seeking the right person to develop the opportunity. I also run into many aspiring farmers who are looking for an opportunity to get into farming. The challenge is matching the aspiring farmer with the farming opportunity in a way which results in a strong chance of sustainable success.
After reviewing the Fish Family Farms RFP, I’ve not found an opportunity with an equal level of thoughtfulness, flexibility and long-range potential. I would love to see other landowners and retiring farmers put as much thought and planning into their opportunities as Ivan has with this one. Not only is there ample land available now – with more possible in the future – the spirit of the RFP includes a broader perspective on community and regional branding.
If you are really serious about farming and are ready to commit your life to building a farm business and enhancing rural community, I would heartily endorse reviewing and thinking through the Fish Family Farms RFP. I believe the process outlined therein, and the interactions with Ivan and his family, would be beneficial to those who apply. And the farmer or group of farmers selected to develop this business will benefit from Ivan’s personal business knowledge and commitment to sharing value fairly. It could make for a great long-term farm business.