A Calmar couple has donated their 170-acre farm to the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust—the largest donation ever to SILT.
Lyle and Sue Luzum's donation includes the Luzum home, outbuildings and equipment. The land comes with newly-signed CRP contracts on 98 acres, making the farm a manageable size for a beginning fruit, vegetable and/or rotational grazing operation. The Luzums are currently raising sheep and growing organic grains on a total of 40 acres.
Lyle's family has farmed the land since 1873, but their daughter was "the end of the line," so they decided to make the donation to the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust. "SILT is connecting the land to future farmers who believe as we do in using land to produce food in a way that protects our planet for the future," said Lyle.
SILT offers long-term land leases while giving farmers the option to gain equity in the buildings, radically reducing debt a new farmer incurs to get started. It is getting ready to take applications for a lease of the property, with a gathering at the farm for prospective new farmers and interested landowners scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Sunday, June 25th.