Job Opportunity: Request for Proposals for Farmlands and Succession Services Capacity Building Project

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Author: Jenn Kucharczyk

Posted: March 25, 2014

Categories: GoodFoodBites / News from Sustain Members / Opportunities / Volunteer. Job and Writing Opportunities

FarmStartFrom FarmStart:

FarmStart is seeking an individual or consultant to work closely with our staff team and with various technical consultants and advisors to assess the feasibility, analyze and identify the necessary capacity, and develop business plans for the following farmland and farm succession services:
1) Matchmaking Services: Identify the opportunities and costs of providing matchmaking services for farmland owners including non-farmers, retiring or
downsizing farmers, institutions, as well as corporate landholders.
2) Coaching Services for Farm Seekers: The goal is to provide coaching and advising services for farm seekers to help them through farm opportunity assessments,
contract negotiations, whole farm planning, and creative and traditional financing. Develop a plan for a series of workshops, structured coaching, and for-fee
coaching services that will be provided by working with existing farm business advisors and rural realtors.
3) Management Services for the Development of Farm Condos and Community Farms: Work with our established Municipal partners to develop the feasibility
assessment, planning documents, and investment structures to build a pilot Condo Farm that would be financed by local investors.

This could be a 6-month employment contract within FarmStart, or the work could be completed by an external consultant. We expect this feasibility assessment and capacity building work may result in new employment opportunities implementing new programming or services.

FarmStart ( is a young, dynamic, and exciting organization. We provide a range of programs and services to support and encourage a new generation of ecological and entrepreneurial farmers; primarily young people from non-farm backgrounds, second career farmers, and new Canadians. We aim to provide them with the necessary resources, tools, and support to not only get their businesses off the ground, but to thrive.

Of the many challenges facing new and young farmers, securing access to affordable and productive farmland is perhaps the most overwhelming and the most important. New entrants face challenges in accessing financing and cannot afford to buy land at market values and run viable and sustainable farm businesses. They often find themselves in short term lease agreements without any ability to invest or build equity.

At the same time we see many farm families in the process of retiring and selling their farms struggling with the complex financial and personal factors that lead them to often sell quickly and to the highest bidder. Despite their interests, many farm families are unable to pass the farm to their children, much less a new set of farmers. Other farmland owners want to make their farms available but it feels to overwhelming to connect with or assess the right farmer match.

Fortunately, we have begun to witness a strong resurgence of interest in local, healthy food and farming by the public and new people entering the sector. We have seen increasing numbers of diverse new entrant farmers striving to build entrepreneurial, economically viable, and ecologically sustainable farm enterprises. In addition, local, diverse, and viable markets are growing across the province, creating new opportunities and viable new business models.

FarmStart has engaged in many efforts to understand succession opportunities and create partnerships and connections across the province. We have piloted and developed a range of initiatives aimed at farm seekers and farmland owners, but viable succession, transfer, and tenure still remains a challenge. There is a need to develop creative and direct services to better support new farmers and farmland owners through the great transition that is facing the sector in the coming years.

April-September, 2014: Project consultant completes research, interviews, consultations, market assessment, cost analysis, etc. Creates draft report and business
plan proposals and reviews with advisors and staff.
DELIVERABLE: Draft report including summary of research, SWOT analysis, financial feasibility assessments, market assessment, partnerships, and roles identified. Business plan proposals for each of the three potential service areas.
September 30, 2014: Draft report presented to the FarmStart board and staff.
DELIVERABLE: Report to the Board.
October 2014: Strategic decisions to implement new services. Project wrap-up.

Commensurate with experience. Up to $30,000 (over 6 months) including HST, if applicable. We have some additional funds for technical consultants/advisors to support
this work (e.g., legal or other advisors as necessary). Office space and equipment available/negotiable.

Please submit your résumé and cover letter in a single document to by March 31, 2014.

In your cover letter please address the following:
1) How you would approach this work.
2) Your relevant skills and experience.
3) Your workspace/place requirements/preferences.
4) Your proposed time commitment to the project and terms for compensation or
salary expectation.
Please include at least 2 references that could speak to your capacity to do this work. Questions about this posting may also be sent to