Tim and Deb Friedman have a long history of renting land to young farm families in their community. Now they’re looking to take the next big step – retire and sell their eight-acre farm (six acres tillable) in Marshall County, which is located about 40 minutes north of Peoria. While we typically focus on northeast Illinois properties on our site, we wanted to share this rare for-sale-by-owner opportunity. 

“We want to offer a beginning farmer the opportunity to realize their dreams as we have enjoyed our career on the farm as third generation farmers,” Tim wrote for their FarmLink profile. 

They currently grow a rotation of conventional corn, soy, and wheat at the farm, but Tim identified a number of features of Varna Farm that could make it appealing to a small-scale, beginning farm business, including:

  • Proximity to Lake Wildwood, a bustling summer destination with a weekend farmers market
  • Proximity to two main highways (I-34 and IL-89) that could bring a lot of traffic to the farm and make it easy to transport products to other places in the region
  • Two farmer housing options – one four-bedroom/two-bath main house and a mother-in-law suite 
  • A heated shop, pole barn, and traditional livestock barn, with electric and water in all of the buildings 
  • Option to buy miscellaneous farm equipment along with the property, including an International 140 tractor, John Deere 4020 tractor, one-row planter, and walk behind rototiller

When we spoke with Tim and Deb, they spontaneously brainstormed various ways a farmer could modify and use the property in the future for their farm dreams.

From their ingenuity, you could tell that they had spent their lives farming. They suggested, for example, converting the mother-in-law suite to a commercial kitchen, office, or Airbnb. There could be part-time employment in town at the John Deere dealership or International Harvester. A new farmer could also think about expanding in the future to Tim and Deb’s 26-acre property a mile down the road. 

Tim and Deb will not be listing Varna Farms with a real estate agent. They’d prefer to sell directly to a like-minded beginning farmer who is passionate about community and agriculture and looking to start in the 2023 growing season. 

There are two options for immediate income at this property as well. Tim and Deb would be interested in renting back the main home and shop for the next year as they figure out their plans for what’s next. They have also planted winter wheat that will be ready for harvest in the early summer. If the farmer provides the labor for harvesting, Tim will allow them to keep the profits minus seed and fertilizer. 

“We wish we’d had this option when we were young,” remarked Tim, “It really is a good life if you don’t mind working.”   

If you are interested in this opportunity and already have a profile on our FarmLink site, we encourage you to login and reach out to Tim and Deb directly. If you don’t have a profile, you can create one here and gain full access to farm profiles once your profile is published to the site.