Wait, really? Yes indeed, although you’ll also have to pay the $150 entry fee and be ready to move to Alabama. Via ABC Affiliate WAAY:
Too Good to be true? Elkmont couple taking essays to give away goat cheese farm
It sounds too good to be true. An Elkmont couple is looking to give away their mortgage free farm, house, 85 goats, and all the tools you would need to start a goat cheese business, to the best person fit to take care of their goats.
For the Spells, it took several tries, and plenty of fails to perfect their goat cheese. Once they did Humble Heart Farms has become a growing business for the couple. So why give it away?
The couple is looking to move to Costa Rica to help missionaries start goat farms. They first tried to sell their property, they say is worth $350,000. When they found most interested couldn’t afford the price, they though of doing something else.
“Debt is one of the worst things you can have as a farmer,” Paul Spell said.
They read about another woman, Janice Sage, who gave away her Bed and Breakfast in Maine in a similar way. After checking with their lawyer to make sure it was legal, now they are only asking for an essay explaining why you want the farm and a $150 dollar entry fee.
“We are actually really excited about it, we’re looking forward to seeing the amount of people who would be interested,” Leslie Spell said.
Right now, they are hoping to get at least 2,500 entries. Those fees would cover the rest of the mortgage on the house, and $20,000 to give to the winner for start up cost on their business.
"It's for real," Paul Spell confirmed early this morning when asked if he is really giving away his goat farm and creamery to the winner of an essay contest.
Spell operates Humble Heart Farms in Elkmont with his wife Leslie and the couple has decided to help missionary friends start a goat farm in Costa Rica. To start the new chapter in their lives, they need to sell their farm, where they keep as many as 60 goats and 30 sheep at any given time. The Spells also make and sell dairy products from the goats' milk.
"We've had a pretty successful run here and I thought it was time for us to go help someone else," Paul said. The couple saw a story earlier in the year about an inn owner in Maine who held a similar contest and decided to give it a try.
"By giving people the opportunity of winning the farm and creamery we will be able to help our missionary friends to become self-sufficient and have enough income for day to day expenses," he said.
Interested people can find rules and entry forms for the essay contest at GoatDairyEssay.com or visit the Facebook page. The Spells are looking for someone "who will treat the goat dairy and creamery right."
It costs $150 per person to enter.
"(We) hope to attract at least 2,500 contestants," Paul said. "The winner will receive a debt free house and farm on 20 acres, dairy and cheese making building with animals and equipment along with recipes and training. The winner will also receive $20,000 in operating expenses, enough to continue running a profitable goat dairy and cheese making operation."
The winner's name will be announced Oct. 15. The rules require that entrants do not contact the owners directly "as it could make your entry invalid."