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A 200 Word-Essay And $150 Could Win You An Entire Goat Farm

If ditching your cubicle to milk goats in Alabama is your pipe dream, get writing.

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The couple, who started the farm 10 years ago, decided to have an essay contest to choose their successor(s), who will have to tend to 60 goats, milk and package cheese, and have the option of growing the business how they choose.

The contest runs through Oct. 1. The Spells hope to get at least 2,500 entries, which would pay off the farm's mortgage, leave them with enough money to move, and start the new owner off with $20,000 in operating cash.

If they don't meet their goal, they'll return all the fees to applicants.

Trying to sell their business the traditional way didn't work for the Spells. Investors who didn't seem to care about farming were the only ones who could afford to buy it.

"There's no personality with it," Leslie Spell told BuzzFeed News. "They're just looking for businesses they can grow bigger."

After reading about an essay contest to take ownership of a Maine inn, the Spells wondered if running a similar contest could ensure they'd leave the farm in the hands of people passionate about the work.

Leslie and Paul Spell, 55 and 64, respectively, along with their 14-year-old son Isaac, plan to stay in Alabama. They're selling the property so they can spend some time helping missionary friends in Costa Rica start a goat farm of their own.

And for whoever takes over, having farming or cheese-making experience is not required.

Facebook: Humble-Heart-Farms

"Maybe you're an organization that wants to help kids or teens that need something to do," Leslie Spell said. "You could even look at special-needs adults. They could do a lot of this."

The farm is about an hour and a half from Nashville and Birmingham, and about two hours from Chattanooga, which to Spell represents local opportunities for selling she and her husband haven't fully pursued.