Alia Adastra

I am a trans owner/operator relocating from Virginia. I have 30 years of experience in the horse industry, and 10 years running a diversified farm utilizing biodynamic and permaculture principles. Seeking an equine facility for a small riding school.

Preferred counties/regions

  • Hudson Valley
  • Dutchess County
  • Ulster County
  • Sullivan County
  • Orange County
  • Putnam County
  • Westchester County
  • Rockland County

Desired acreage

  • 11-20
  • 21-50

Farming Status

Established farmer: Over 10 years of farm management experience or ownership

Currently farming full-time

Primary reason for farming

Farm will generate the majority of my income

Farming status, plans, and practices

I am a trans/queer farmer who is relocating from Virginia to New York, downsizing from my current 100-acre diversified farm to focus more on equine services. I have 30 years of experience in the horse industry, working in almost every facet of training, competition, and management. I am bringing a small string of school horses including several rehabilitated and retrained off-track thoroughbreds. My goal is to establish a small riding school that teaches empathetic horsemanship and provides students with opportunities for personal growth as well as all of the skills vital to horse training, riding, management, and competition. My emphasis is on the horsemanship, not simply the riding skills, and developing students potentially towards careers in the horse industry. 

The last 10 years I have managed a herd of heritage breed cattle and a flock of rare breed sheep, have completed courses in Biodynamic practices in beekeeping and land management, and intend to continue to employ sustainable, biodynamic, and permaculture principles in my land management. Alongside the riding school my family and I will continue to farmstead with a small number of sheep, our flock of chickens, biodynamic home gardens and an orchard. Being good stewards of the land and water we are connected to is part of our lifestyle.

In all of my work, I am dedicated to intersectionality, anti-racism, and providing a safe space for marginalized folks in an often conservative industry. 

I am seeking 15-30 acres close to Wurtsboro, NY, with established equine facilities including a barn with at least six stalls and an indoor arena. 

Farm Experience & Education

  • Farm internship/apprenticeship
  • Farm owner
  • Farmer training or workshop
  • Farm manager
  • On farm work experience

30 years equine experience -- Full equine resume available on request.

10 years owner/operator of Faunspring Farm LLC in Boyce, VA.

Biodynamic beekeeper training with Spikenard Farm in Floyd, VA.

Biodynamic farmer training with Josephine Porter Institute in Floyd, VA.

Farming Plans and Practices

Farming method or practice

  • Biodynamic
  • Organic (not certified)
  • Regenerative/Sustainable

Primary crops

  • black outline of a carrot Vegetables
  • black outline apple icon Fruits
  • black outline of a flower Flowers or Ornamentals
  • black outline hay icon Hay
  • black outline other crops icon Other Crops

Primary livestock

  • black outline horse icon Equine
  • Black outline of a sheep Goats/Sheep
  • Black outline of a bee Bees

A riding school will be the main 'product' with my established string of school horses. Boarding and training may also be offered depending on the capacity of the facility.

We are bringing approx 10 sheep from our established registered Jacob Sheep flock to continue to have wool and meat for our family, and perhaps produce a small amount of fiber product for sale every year. We are downsizing from 60+ sheep and will have fiber products from the past couple shearings available until sold out.

We would like to establish an orchard and home gardens if they are not already present.

Marketing Method

I will be advertising the school in local equine networks -- publications, tack shops, Facebook groups, etc. I am contacting some private schools in the area as well about doing outreach to their students and families about the benefits and value to their children of an education in horsemanship. 

I, myself, will be riding in competitions in the area and will use those as an opportunity to connect with the established horse community, and those seeking boarding and training services.

Currently doing market research on other avenues to advertise the riding school. 

I will be offering summer programs by age group, as well as horse leasing opportunities. 

Farm business plan or farm resume

My business plan or farm resume is in progress

Farmland Needs

Infrastructure required

  • black outline barn with silo icon Barns - Livestock
  • black outline electrical icon Electrical access
  • black outline house icon Farmer housing
  • Black outline of a fence Fencing
  • Black outline of a water drop Water access

Seeking a farm with a minimum of 15 acres, with housing for up to 4 adults, a horse stable of at least six stalls, an indoor arena, and at least some fenced pasture. Our family is 2 adults/1 child but we would like to have room for live-in help and/or extended family to stay with us. This could be spare rooms, a barn apartment, a separate cottage, or otherwise.

Willing to build fencing and gardens.

We are selling our property in Virginia and are looking for something either to purchase, rent to own, or very long term lease. 

Desired Tenure

Tenure options desired

  • For Sale
  • Other Tenure Agreement

Ideally we would like to purchase a farm, either up front or as part of a longer term agreement. I would consider long term lease agreements or alternative arrangements that provide our family security. We do not intend to move again and would like to put down roots as our family's lifetime home.

Estimated price range for a lease or a purchase of a farm property

600-900k for outright purchase. A significant portion will be cash.

Has this farmer received a pre-qualification from a lending institution?


Will this operation qualify an eligible landowner for an Agricultural Assessment?


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