Review, Selection and Implementation

REVIEW OF SUBMITTALS

This is going to be a real challenge, and it will have to proceed at my own pace. There’s a lot at stake for everyone, and a lot to consider. If you are impatient with my process, then you are probably not qualified by nature to take on the future of Pinwheel Farm.

All proposals will be reviewed with an open mind, provided they meet these basic criteria:

  • Comply with the farm’s established non-discrimination and drug zero-tolerance policies, and are legal.
  • Account somehow for all resources listed in this RFP, including those that are not to be transferred or utilized as part of the proposal (i.e., if you don’t want sheep, you still must include a plan for adequate transition time and your proposal must include adequate resources for establishing a new location for the sheep; if you only want one part of the farm, then be clear about whether you want me to continue with the other portions, or want something else done with them).
  • Provide a workable plan for my personal future, which could reasonably be another 45 years based on family history. I have no retirement resources other than the farm.

I may request additional information or clarification to better understand a proposal. Written communication (preferably email) will be greatly appreciated to help keep things straight. Any phone conversations should be documented by the submitter to ensure clarity. Please do not construe any conversations, on-line exchanges, or brainstorming sessions as binding. Nothing is binding until a formal written agreement is signed. I am trying to be very open-minded about all proposals, and this means considering a lot of contradictory possibilities in order to find the best synergy and long-term positive outcomes for all involved.

I may request interviews or site visits (mine or yours) for proposals I find interesting. I understand that these may not always be feasible to carry out.

I may engage experts or friends to assist in reviewing and evaluating proposals. The final decision will be mine. Period.

Your past relationship with the farm will be considered, for better or for worse. Also, expect background checks, and expect to provide references.

SELECTION

Selection will be based on a combination of these and other criteria, not in this order. Not all these criteria need to be met explicitly, but you should think about them when you are preparing submittals, because I will be thinking about them when I read your synopsis/proposal:

  • Soundness of business plan, including alternatives for various contingencies (“Plan Bs”).
  • Completeness of plan, i.e., addressing all resources and needs.
  • Feasibility of transition plan, including realistic timeline.
  • Recognition of potential adverse circumstances, and adequate planning to address contingencies and disasters.
  • Adequate financial resources and backing.
  • Adequate human resources with established good working relationships or documented ability to form them.
  • Focus on diversity, both human and ecological.
  • Explicitly address social concerns such as homelessness, mental illness, food insecurity, unemployment, poverty, lack of nature, etc.
  • An element of promoting creativity, the arts, agriculture, science, practical skills, etc.
  • Suitable planning and resources for my personal future, whether or not I’m to remain involved with Pinwheel in any capacity.
  • Sufficient arrangements for the continuation of the sheep and chicken breeding programs.
  • Compatibility of plans with the nature of the land and neighborhood.
  • Potential acceptability of plans to the neighborhood and the general community.
  • Demonstrated experience, knowledge and skills with related projects or work.
  • Quality of people involved, as evidenced by documented experience, references, background/credit checks, no prior adverse interactions with me/Pinwheel, etc.
  • Overall apparent potential for a happy future for me, the sheep and the land—together or apart.
  • Ideally, consistent with Pinwheel’s goals, values, and policies—although this can be flexible if a proposal will allow me to pursue those goals elsewhere.
  • Overall quality of our various interactions relative to the proposal—I want the process to be enjoyable and energizing for all involved.
  • Assurance through formal means that the land will be used as agreed.

There are no deadlines, other than those set forth in eventual signed formal agreement(s). This offer is open until I am no longer in a position to offer it. More than one offer may be seriously considered at once. Depending on the nature of offers received, more than one offer might be accepted. For example, I might sell one house and keep the farm and the other house. Or someone might buy the farm but hire me to operate it. Or someone might lease the house for a few years, meanwhile I might be transitioning the farming operation to someone else who would take over the house after the lease. If things fall through on one agreement, I will probably re-contact proposers and re-open this RFP.

I will be renting out at least part of the farmhouse in the interim, while entertaining long-term proposals and working out transitions and details. I am also renting out a pen for some neighbors to keep their miniature horses (this could continue or not as part of your proposal) and renting other bits of farm ground to other city folks who need country space. Not a big income, but something. Other short-term proposals like these are welcome.

EXECUTION/IMPLEMENTATION

A detailed list of timelines and responsibilities will be established early on in the process once a proposal is being seriously considered. However, these may be subject to change as things proceed.

If serious adverse considerations (discovery of adverse facts such as drug use or intent to “flip” property; sudden changes of circumstances; lack of civility or demonstration of instability; etc.) arise at any point in the process of finalizing an agreement on a proposal, the process may be ended. This will not be done lightly, because all parties will have invested a significant amount of time, energy and possibly money in the process. But time and energy invested will not keep me from blocking completion of an agreement I am not comfortable with. In this case, other existing proposals will be considered for finalization, and additional proposals may be requested.

Any real estate transactions will be carried out in a conventional manner, either through a real estate agent(s) or with the help of lawyer(s) and an escrow company. Any contracts, leases, agreements, etc. will be drafted by the parties to the agreements and finalized by lawyer(s).

I may require deed restrictions or other means to ensure the long-term appropriate use of the real estate relative to the terms of the agreement and/or appropriate future succession of the real estate.

For many types of proposals, interested parties should expect to pay up front (including time and energy, as well as money) for many aspects of execution and implementation. My time, energy and money are spread very thin, and are mostly required for maintaining the daily operation of the farm.

For some types of proposals, partial owner financing (“contract for deed”) may be possible, and may even be preferable. Expect to have an upfront requirement of a down payment, responsibility for operating expenses, serious “sweat equity”, or other form of significant input that materially lifts the burdens I currently carry myself.

Involvement in farming and/or real estate ownership is never without risks. Risks include, but are not limited to: Changes in health, market, economy, regulations, climate or weather; disease or predation of plants or livestock; activities on neighboring properties; actions by government entities; loss of off-farm employment; mechanical accidents or breakdowns; acts of terrorism or God; other risks too numerous and unpredictable to be itemized.

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