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Property Needed for Humane Education Center

I received the message below and thought I’d share it with my readers in case any of you have a property or know of someone who has a property that would be a good fit for this.

Hello Aaron

I have been a civil rights lawyer in Minneapolis for 23 years.  For decades, I have also worked to stop cruelty to animals.  Although I have supported/funded sanctuaries, rescues, and activism, I have learned that the best way to prevent cruelty (to animals and people) is education.

I am writing to you in search of a farm/acreage for a humane education center called Imagine Farm.  Imagine Farm is starting under the umbrella of Animal Sanctuary Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit charity since @ 1997.[1]

Imagine Farm will utilize the basic concept of www.GentleBarn.org but also include a classroom experience using the award-winning curriculum of www.HumaneEducation.org.  It will be the first of its kind, and, hopefully, a model for other Imagine Farms throughout the country.

Imagine Farm will be a field trip destination, with a campus featuring an interactive classroom (utilizing humane ed curriculum), certified humane ed teachers, a humane, healthy-choice cafeteria, housing for on-site caretakers, staff, volunteers and overnight visitors, and barns to house animals on site (ranging from dogs and cats to pigs and horses).[2]

Imagine Farm’s purpose is not only to save animals, but also to imbue empathy into students:  for animals, the disabled, the elderly and others, via “imagining” themselves as the abused dog, the bullied child, or the lonely senior citizen.  After the students imagine how these individuals feel, we then provide practical ideas of how they might help alleviate the suffering (including activities like experiencing the difficulties of trying to navigate in a wheelchair or while wearing blinders, for example). Only through learning to empathize with others, and then taking even small steps to alleviate their suffering, can we decrease cruelty and violence.  And studies repeatedly show that those who commit violence against animals also commit violence against humans.

We are seeking a property owner who would consider donating farm/land for a legacy project like this.  As this is a nonprofit, the donation should be tax deductible, valuing the property at its “highest use.”[3]

Do you know of any owners of farmsteads, hobby farms, or land (with agriculture zoning) within about an hour of the Twin Cities[4] who might consider investing their property in this legacy?  Or developers who have been unable to successfully utilize their acreage?  If you have any suggestions as to how we might make the appropriate contact, or if you have a person in mind who might embrace this project, please contact me or share this information with him/her.

If you have any questions, please let me know.[5]  And if this project touches your heart, and you’d like to become involved (or if you know someone who has the desire and resources to push this project forward, I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you kindly for reading and considering this request.

Lori Peterson
10 S. 5th St., #700
Minneapolis, MN  55402

[1] Animal Sanctuary Foundation already underwrites several sanctuary and rescue operations, and produced a humane education audio/visual truck as part of its mission.  More information available upon request.

[2] The www.GentleBarn.org concept has been especially successful in integrating learning and healing by interactions with animals on site.  In addition, we plan mobile units to take teachers, curriculum and ambassador animals to schools that cannot participate in field trips.

[3] We have done this previously, where property was donated to a local wildlife center.  The donor received a substantial tax write-off and the satisfaction of contributing to a great cause.  The realtors also made a commission for the value of the donation.  I am not a tax lawyer, so any owner should work directly with his/her tax professional to ensure that s/he receives the desired tax treatment.

[4] That range would ensure schools throughout the twin cities area would have easy access for field trips.

[5] I have a track record of building/supporting animal rescues and sanctuaries (including one near Hinckley with over 200 rescued animals who live there for life), and am happy to share that information with anyone needing references.  Additional references are on my website at: http://www.thelawdog.com/buzz.html


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This website is a service of Aaron Dickinson of Edina Realty, a broker Participant of the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc.