• Two years ago, Don and Bridget founded a limited liability company (LLC) and put the farm, structures and all the improvements (they own) there. The farm currently supports a CSA for 265 families who acquire CSA shares each season. farmers: Bridget Spann and Don Zasada (juniorfarmer); Sam and Elizabeth Smith (Senior Farmers) Access method: Bridget and Don own the farm and structures and lease the arable land through a base lease Area: 35 hectares Location: Berkshires, Massachusetts Founded: 2006 (Don and Bridget betrieb); 1991 (Sam and Elizabeth`s CSA); 1969 (Sam and Elizabeth`s operation) Affordability Tools: Ground lease, conservation easement, community fundraising, land trust Farm Operation: Diversified animal and vegetable operation with 200 varieties of 40 different crops each season, plus chickens and pigs Don was already familiar with the Smiths, having visited their farm ago some years when he was an apprentice in the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) program. When he saw the advertisement for the natural farmer, Don arranged to go to the Smiths and interview them for the estate position. The first interview consisted of a farm visit and tour, and the second interview included the Smiths who visited The Food Project to see Dons` work and have another meeting with Don and Bridget. Don and Bridget then planned another weekend visit to Caretaker Farm for Don to work with the crew for a day and provide an additional opportunity to meet the Smiths. In August 2004, the Smiths limited their selection for a successor to three candidates and finally offered the opportunity to Don and Bridget. The Equity Trust and the Berkshire Community Land Trust have both created long-term “model contracts” that can then be adapted to the individual`s particular circumstances. Both couples decided to adapt the Equity Trust`s core lease because it offered an opportunity to build equity based on the value of the farm. Couples also appreciated that Equity Trust provided a commentary on the support of its lease, which explains the language in different clauses and makes the lease more understandable. Equity Trust has given couples valuable fundraising advice and Bridget points out that Equity Trust`s technical and legal advice was essential to structuring the deal. Finally, Equity Trust served as a sleight-of-way organization that facilitated the agreement by purchasing the Caretaker farm and reselling it to the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation (which was to be leased and operated by Don and Bridget).

    What`s the best part? Personally, I think the monitoring agreements are the best for the industry. They take the heat from long-term maintenance contracts because they effectively leave the agency responsible for the amount of expenses for general cleaning and maintenance of real estate. The organization can budget for the amount of expenses that owners want and are willing to pay for. I see that very few disputes develop between janitors and entities under supervisory agreements.

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