We've started the process of looking for a piece of land. Our criteria:
1) 80+ acres
3) Driving distance from work
4) Able to support bison
5) A diverse, hopefully rolling landscape
6) Suitability for installing electricity and water
7) Road accessibility
8) Land with a running stream is preferable.
Land is the single most expensive investment in setting up a farm. We've learned from experienced ranchers that choosing the right piece of land can make or break an operation from the beginning. Following their advice, we've put together a detailed plan showing year by year how we plan to set up our infrastructure, begin production, and fund each step of the process. This is a living document. In the land search, we're finding that real estate websites are incredibly helpful not just in locating listings, but in finding out what the possibilities are in our region.
When we find a potential piece of land, we're spending quite a bit of time walking around the property to get to know it. For the more promising pieces of land, we're visiting during different times of the day and even camping out. As we go along, we take lots of photographs and notes, to help us compare as objectively as possible.
It's hard not to get exciting thinking about the possibilities every time we walk on a new property. We're taking notes and photographs in hopes of being able to make objective comparisons.