Luzum family donates farm

SILT will pass farm on to next family that will treat it with respect and love

Lyle and Sue Luzum in front of the home and farm they've donated to SILT. They will live there until Fall, when a new farmer is expected to move in. (Courtesy of Sustainable Iowa Land Trust)

URBANDALE, Iowa — Two years ago, Calmar resident Lyle Luzum walked up to SILT President Suzan Erem after she spoke at the Oneota Food Co-op Annual Meeting and said, “I think I’d like to give you my farm.”

On Friday, June 2, Lyle, Sue and their daughter Steph donated 170 acres their family has farmed since 1873, along with their renovated energy-efficient farm home and outbuildings, to future sustainable food farmers.

“I feel relieved,” Lyle Luzum said. “Steph was the last of our line, and I just didn’t know what we were going to do to honor the legacy of this farm. After many conversations, we’re now confident that SILT will do that for us by passing this farm on to the next family who will treat it with as much respect and love as we have.”

Interested in leaving a legacy like this? Contact us or jump right and fill out this Property Information Worksheet and we’ll call you!

Read More about the Luzum donation.

Applications are now open for farmers interested in long-term affordable land access in the vibrant local foods market of Decorah, IA. SILT is offering 70 acres of pasture, small grain and timber land plus a 4-bedroom energy-efficient home and outbuildings for less than $20,000 the first year to the sustainable food farmer who shows the best potential for success.

After a successful probationary period, the farmer will be offered equity in the buildings (similar to rent-to-own) and a long-term land lease their children can inherit.

Farmer applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the SILT Farmer Gathering at the SILT/Luzum Farm 2 pm. Sunday, June 25th to walk the farm and learn more about the application process.

Deadline for applications is Aug. 14, 2017. Late applications will not be reviewed. Go to for application materials and more information.

— Sustainable Iowa Land Trust

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