This has come to us by way of another organization. The original message is pasted below. If you’re in Texas, and looking for land, read on! It would take some legwork, but could be well worth your while.
A man named John Shewmaker called me a few weeks ago (out of the blue). He has 170 acres of land (fronting I-35, 10-12 miles north of Georgetown in Bell County) that he would like to rent at low cost to a co-op or nonprofit on a 50+ year term. That nonprofit would then partition the land (not legally, but physically) into plots for organic farmers/ demonstration gardens/ farm incubation/ a school farm, and/or to other entities producing or promoting sustainable agriculture. Currently, the land is mostly pasture; part is producing grain for livestock. As far as I gathered, the land doesn’t have too much in the way of farm infrastructure or irrigation.
John seems confident in his ability to raise significant money for this project, but is retired and said that he would not be involved in operations. He spoke flexibly about the terms of this long-term lease and the specific end use of the land, except that he wants it to be used sustainably and benefit as many people as possible. As a first step, he would like to have a meeting with 4-10 people who may be stakeholders in this project, and see if there is any traction. This is all the information I have, so please feel free to contact/coordinate with him directly if you’re interested.
I have not visited the land and have no personal experience with John outside of this phone call. I told him that I would spread the word, based on the merit of his idea.