Request for Proposals
Rutland Road, Oakham, MA
Background and Information:
The East Quabbin Land Trust is offering 61-acres of land, barn and old farmhouse for sale to a farmer or farm entity interested in pursuing their agricultural business in Oakham, Massachusetts. The ideal farmer will manage a diversified farm using regenerative farming techniques to improve soil fertility and productivity, such as rotational grazing, no-till and cover cropping practices. A small-scale cattle or goat business, market vegetable production, portable chicken, berry or orchard operation are options on this farmland.
There are eight acres that are currently in hay production. A three-acre pasture was last grazed in 2021. Two smaller areas of abandoned pasture can be reclaimed. The soil categorization is Woodbridge-Paxton association, with 3-15% slopes and extremely stony. The remaining acreage is wooded with a stream running along the eastern property boundary.
The existing house is in difficult shape, most likely requiring demolition and then rebuilding a modern farmhouse or two-family dwelling. The buyer will make the choice and investment in fixing the existing house or its demolition. Whatever decision is made about the house, the future residence must be maintained in a neat and orderly condition. The barn is in reasonable shape though repairs are needed. Space is available for a small solar array sufficient to power the residence and agricultural enterprise.
The entire 61-acres will be placed into a Conservation Restriction before the sale. A four-acre building envelope will be defined to encompass the residence, barn and solar array area along Rutland Road. The remaining land can be used for farming, forest management and passive recreation, whose terms will be negotiated before the sale. Specific provisions will include the obligation to farm the land, no subdivision of the 61-acres, and allowing public access along a foot-trail in the woods that connects the parcels north and south of Rutland Road (at no expense or obligation of the owner).
The East Quabbin Land Trust is retaining the 15-acre woodlot with frontage on Ware Corner Road known as Eva’s Woods and includes a passive recreation trail. It’s this trail network that could be extended to northerly through wooded portions of the 61-acres. While this trail is expected to cross Rutland Road, the parking access point is from Ware Corner Road.
Appointments are required to view the farmhouse, barn and property. Email Cynthia at [email protected] to make an appointment. Proposals will be accepted through June 15th and then on a rolling basis until a purchase and sale agreement is confirmed.
Parties interested in making an offer to purchase this property should submit a Proposal, including all the information described below, by 5:00 pm on June 15, 2023. All of the information submitted will remain strictly confidential.
Cover letter with a written proposal, including the amount you are offering to purchase the 61-acre property:
Explain why you want to purchase this property;
Describe your plans for the existing farmhouse – either renovation or demolition & rebuild;
Describe your qualifications to successfully execute your farm business plan;
Attach documentation that you can fund the purchase price and anticipated renovation or demolition & rebuild expenses. (Such documentation may include financial statements or bank guarantee letter.);
Discuss relevant best management practices to build soil capacity and minimize impacts from slopes;
Provide strong agricultural references; and
Submit any other relevant information that would support your proposal including your understanding Conservation Restrictions.
If available, attach a business and management plan for your proposed farm operation.
Send Proposal and related materials to East Quabbin Land Trust, P.O. Box 5, Hardwick, MA 01037-0005, Attn: Cynthia Henshaw, or email [email protected]
The East Quabbin Land Trust will acknowledge receipt of all proposals received by 5 pm June 15, 2023, or others received beyond this date.
We encourage all qualified and interested farmers or farm businesses to submit a Proposal. The EQLT does not discriminate based on race, gender, handicaps, sexual orientation, or for any other reason. The East Quabbin Land Trust will select a purchaser with the help of an Advisory Committee that includes members with knowledge and experience related to agricultural operations.
If you have any questions about the farm, a Conservation Restriction and/or the process, please contact Cynthia Henshaw at 413-477-8229 or [email protected].