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Posted on: February 5, 2020

Linn County Accepting Proposals for Farm Operation & Management as Part of Dows Farm Agri-Community

Dows Farm logo - windmill

Linn County is seeking proposals from experienced farmers and/or organizations to develop, manage, and conduct agricultural operations as part of the Dows Farm Agri-Community. This is Phase 2 of the Dows Farm Agri-Community planning.

Agricultural operations would include growing food for the Dows Farm residents and greater community while providing educational activities to the larger area. Educational activities could include field trips, classroom presentations, demonstrations, workshops, markets, cooking classes, volunteer days, and other community engagement opportunities.

The vision for the Dows Farm operation is of a financially viable, environmentally and socially responsible operation that grows healthy foods for people, and where the Dows Farm Agri-Community residents and others can participate to varying degrees in the acts of planting, growing, harvesting, eating and even celebrating food grown on the farm. The selected applicant will enter into an agreement with Linn County for the operation and management of the farm in accordance with mutually agreed farm management guidelines.

The deadline to submit proposals is 5:00 p.m. Central Time, March 18, 2020.

Download the RFP (PDF document).

About Dows Farm Agri-Community

An agri-community is a development built around a working farm – think of a golf course development, only instead of a golf course, the central amenity is a farm. Typically, the farm is relatively small, uses farming practices that minimize the impacts on the surrounding development, and welcomes the surrounding residents and neighbors to get to know the farmer and learn about the farm operation.

Dows Farm is 179 acres of rolling farmland, pasture, and stream buffer under the ownership of Linn County. In 2017, Linn County began a planning process to develop a master plan for the property. The design concept for the Dows Farm Agri-Community envisions development in a manner that incorporates and protects the site’s significant environmental features and respects its agricultural heritage. The 179 acres is bordered by Mt. Vernon Road on the south, Dows Road on the west and the Squaw Creek Ridge residential development on the northeast.

The Dows Farm Agri-Community will keep 75 percent of the site in conservation open space or agriculture, with only 25 percent of the site allocated to development.

The Dows Farm Agri-Community will create a unique living, educational and economic experience. Residents will have direct access to trails and open space. There will be a variety of housing options and price points, including multi-generational housing and options for all family sizes. This will be a walkable community, with activity centers about a 5-minute walk away. In addition, there will be a small, carefully integrated retail center. The retail center may include a farm-to-table restaurant that incorporates food grown at the farm into its menu and other uses serving the residents and surrounding neighborhood.

The Dows Farm Agri-Community will be developed in a sustainable way that efficiently uses land, energy, and water in order to reduce waste and pollution, and to conserve natural resources. Key components of sustainable development include stormwater management, green infrastructure and low-impact development practices; construction and site development practices; and energy efficiency practices to provide for today’s economic, environmental and community needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

More information about the Dows Farm Agri-Community is available at LinnCounty.org/DowsFarm.

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