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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New farming opportunities in South County

DEM seeking proposals to farm parcels of state-owned land
DEM news release

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management is seeking Request for Proposals (RFP) to engage the services of qualified entities to farm certain parcels of state land.

The Department manages numerous parcels of land that were acquired for the benefit of open space preservation, public recreation and wildlife resource protection. DEM is soliciting proposals to raise and harvest agricultural products on some parcels in an effort to preserve their agricultural and wildlife benefits.

The parcels are as follows:

  1. Eight Rod Farm Management Area, Tiverton, RI - 59 acres
  2. Woodmansee Unit- Arcadia Management Area, Exeter, RI - 7.1 acres
  3. Rockville Unit - Arcadia Management Area, Hopkinton, RI - 7 acres
  4. Woody Hill - Arcadia Management Area, Hopkinton, RI - 9 acres
  5. Wright Farm - Carolina Management Area, Richmond, RI - 96 acres
  6. South Shore Management Area Field 6, Finerman Unit - South Kingstown, RI - 23 acres
The successful bidders will enter into a lease agreement with the Department and pay a per-acre fee to plant and harvest annual row crops such as corn, potatoes and other vegetables, or to manage the parcels as hay fields generally between March 1 and October 1. 

The leaseholders are required to plant and/or leave standing a small portion of the principal crop (corn) for wildlife habitat. The leaseholders are also required to plant a cover crop of winter rye immediately following harvest of the principal crop to protect and improve soil and nutrient conditions. 

After October 1 of each year, the property reverts back to the Department for use by the general public for recreation purposes. Specific lease periods and requirements for each parcel are outlined in the RFP.

Proposals will be received by the State of Rhode Island, Department of Administration, Division of Purchases, One Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02908 until 10 a.m. Friday, January 11, 2013, at which time they will be opened and publicly acknowledged. Proposals should clearly reference the LP#161.

Questions concerning this solicitation should be directed to Ms. Terri Bisson no later than Friday, January 4, 2013 at (401) 222-2776, ext. 4402 or via email at The State of Rhode Island reserves the right to waive any informality and to reject any or all proposals. Proposal surety is not required.

Proposals will be evaluated by DEM Lease Management Committee staff, subject to review and approval of the Director of DEM. Evaluation criteria is based on price, farming experience and prior experience with the specific parcel. The Department will forward the recommended proposals and lease agreements to the State Properties Committee for approval once the RFP responses have been evaluated.

For more information, contact Terri Bisson at (401) 222-2776, ext. 4402 or email at