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Alabama man holding essay contest to see who inherits his goat farm

TORONTO – Ever dreamed of owning your own farm? Or maybe you’re thinking about getting into the goat cheese business?

Well for US$150 and a carefully worded essay, you could become the proud new owner of a goat farm in Alabama.

Humble Heart Farms is a goat farm in Elkmont, Alabama, a rural community in northern Alabama located just south of the Tennessee border.

And it’s not just the land. The owners say they’re throwing in everything you need to become a respectable goat rancher: their full 85 goat spread, the equipment, even their home – mortgage-free of course.

And they’re willing to teach the new owners all the ins and outs of being goat cheese makers.

“[The winner] gets the watchdog, they’ll get all the equipment…we have a humble house up there,” owner Paul Spell told WAFF News in Huntsville, Alabama.
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Owners Paul and Leslie Spell have turned the 20-acre spread into a respectable goat cheese operation and say business is growing.

So why give it all away? The Spell family say they are planning to do missionary work abroad, and first tried to sell their property for $350,000.

As they struggled to find a buyer, Leslie Spell came across a story of a Maine woman who decided to give away her bed and breakfast through an essay writing contest.

“When we heard that, we thought ‘what an incredible way to be able to extend out what we’ve started, but really [find] the right people,” Leslie Spell said.

So what are they looking for in their essay? For starters, there’s a 200 word maximum – so no fluff or padding, please.

The theme to address? “Why I, or my organization, is the perfect fit to continue the farmstead goat cheese tradition,” it reads on the contest website.

‘We’re looking for enthusiasm,” Paul Spell said. “We’re looking for people who want to do it.”

The Spells are hoping for around 2500 entries. They plan to use the entry fee proceeds to pay off the remaining mortgage on their home, as well as provide $20,000 in start-up money to the farm’s next owner.

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And they’re confident owning Humble Heart Farms will be as life-changing for the next owners as it was for them.

“Their life will be enriched in ways that [they] don’t even know,” Leslie spell said.

Interested in throwing your hat – or essay – into the ring? You can submit your essay on the contest website.

The Spells hope to announce a winner this October.