The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust (“
NWALT”) is an Arkansas nonprofit corporation based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. NWALT is managing a grant of $350,000 (“ Farmland Access Fund”) to be used to help farmers gain access to and purchase farmland or expand their farming practices specifically to grow fruits and vegetables (the “ Program”). Applicants to the Program must be willing to focus on cultivating fruits and/or vegetables using best management practices to foster healthy soils for no less than a minimum of three years. Applicants must have a business plan that includes some wholesale production.
Once selected for the Program, Applicant agrees to place a portion of its farmland in an agricultural conservation easement to be held by NWALT. Agricultural/conservation easements are legally binding and permanently remove the ability to commercially develop the affected farmland property. In exchange for the granting of the easement, Applicant may benefit from possible federal tax deductions, compensation, and waived expenses through this program. Applicant shall retain the right to own and farm the parcel and may later sell the parcel at agricultural value, making it more affordable for other farmers to purchase. The easement specifics will be determined and customized in collaboration with the applicant while also taking into consideration the specific characteristics of the property under consideration.
Diversified farm plans are encouraged, and Applicant may engage in other farm enterprises in addition to the primary farm enterprise of growing fruits and/or vegetables, including small scale livestock or poultry production, agritourism and any other legal farm activities under the laws of the state of Arkansas. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Applicant is prohibited from engaging in the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana, which, while legal under the laws of the state of Arkansas, is still illegal pursuant to current federal law. In the event Applicant stops growing fruits and/or vegetables, NWALT shall have the right, but not the obligation, to lease the fruit and vegetable production of the property to another farmer.
The application process for this Program may take up to 12 months to ensure that both Applicant and the proposed property are a proper fit for the Program. Applicant is encouraged to seek advice from a tax professional and an attorney to review this opportunity throughout each stage of the process. Applicant’s agreement at this stage allows NWALT to continue to process Applicant’s application for consideration, including evaluating the conservation value of any potential properties Applicant may be interested in purchasing. Additional information will be provided as the application is reviewed and as the potential property Applicant is considering for the farm operation is evaluated. Applicant will also receive additional explanatory documentation prior to further committing to the Program, as well as the estimated value of the easement and grant funds necessary to complete the transaction. Further consideration of this application by NWALT does not guarantee that Applicant will be accepted as a participant in the Program.
I, Applicant, have read and understand the foregoing memorandum of understanding and wish to proceed with submission of my application.
Date(Date the form was submitted) *