Rebecca Friedman Lockhart

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Farming Status and Plans

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

The goal for this farm property is to preserve existing farmland from becoming developed. Our intention is to use the land for non-traditional farm use as a not for profit that will house a wildlife rehab and educational center focusing on the care of wild birds as well as a foster care facility for farm sanctuary animals.  Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, a refuge and rehabilitation clinic, will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020 and is currently looking for a permanent home in order to expand its ability to care for the volume of calls it receives on a daily basis. There are a handful of home-based wildlife rehab clinics in the area, and our homestead would uniquely serve both wildlife and current farm sanctuary animals. Our objectives for this farm property are: to provide medical care and support for injured and orphaned birds to be released back into the wild  to care and house current farm sanctuary animals for an interim period of time to provide educational programs for our local schools and community to give members of the community an opportunity to help us care for the animals in our trust Our objective to care for these animals 24/7 is our primary concern, so we are looking to reside on the premises. We have a vested interest in ensuring that the property is well-maintained and aspire to enhance the health of the land and to be as organic as possible. For the day to day care of the farm and animals, we will make use of our pool of volunteers. We will also need to add staff comprised of maintenance personnel, an on-call veterinarian, and animal care-takers. Additionally, we will incorporate solar power into our grid and utilize the land to garden and grow food for ourselves and for the animals. Owl nesting boxes will be strategically placed throughout the property to entice wild owls to assist with rodent control.  Considered partnerships: Cornell Cooperative Extension Center, Kathy Stevens (Catskill Animal Sanctuary), SPCA, master gardener, Adrienne Kubicz, Woodstock Land Conservancy, Hudson Valley Women In Business, Brian Shapiro (Humane Society of the United States)  

Description of marketing method:

Quarterly fundraisers, newspaper and radio advertising, making use of social media, hosting monthly educational programs, connecting with our business community partners (HVWIB, Chamber of Commerce), partnering with alternative healing practitioners to use the property for the benefit of the community at large

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

  • Hudson Valley
    • Dutchess
    • Greene
    • Ulster

Desired acreage:

11-20

Infrastructure required:

Onsite housing, Barns or other facilities for storage of equipment, livestock, and crops, Water access, Electrical Access

Description of buildings required:

Our plan for this farm property includes constructing new environmentally-friendly structures (i.e. straw bale housing), an avian clinic, free-standing flight cages, housing for farm animals, storage for tools, food and equipment

Description of water access required:

Well water in the barn and house, and we would welcome a stream and pond on the property

Crops and Livestock

Primary Livestock:

Cattle - Dairy, Equine, Goats/Sheep, Pigs, Poultry, Other livestock

Description of livestock/crops:

The animals on the property will be dependent on the need of the sanctuaries we are supporting. We aim to be prepared to care for horses, goats, pigs, sheep, donkeys, cows, turkeys, chickens and other fowl. Our gardening efforts are also dependent on the needs of our residents

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

For Sale

Description of tenure options desired:

We are open to different and creative approaches to transfer of ownership of our future property, including, but not limited to: Long-term rent to own Donating the property our not for profit to keep it forever farmland with the stipulation that it will not be developed or sold to a sole entity looking only to make a profit from the land We will improve the property while it is still under the owner’s name in order to allow for tax benefits for that owner, then property ownership will be transferred to our not-for-profit Guaranteed long-term lease  

Additional Information

Experience & education:

Farmer training or workshop

Experience description:

Ellen Kalish, founder and Executive Director of Ravensbeard Wildlife Center has been successfully running this not-for-profit for the past twenty years. She received her licensure in 2000 with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and was Federally licensed through the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 2002 to work with migratory birds. She currently cares for eleven unreleasable wild birds that she utilizes to educate the community about the environment and how we are reliant on each other for long-term survival. Rebecca Friedman Lockhart is founder and Executive Director of The Lot of Us, a not-for-profit focused on supporting farm animal sanctuaries. She started her career in farm animal caretaking in 2009 at an educational farm in eastern Pennsylvania and has visited and worked on farm sanctuaries along the east coast. In 2019, she started to regularly volunteer with Catskill Animal Sanctuary as an animal care-taker.