Woman to Give Farm Away to Whoever Writes Best 200-Word Essay

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BENNETT, North Carolina  --  A North Carolina woman is looking to give up farm life and retire. But before doing that, she's launched an essay contest to decide who will get the farm.

WNCN reported that Norma Burns has called the nearly 13-acre Bluebird Hill Farm in Bennett her home for the past 18 years.

But now, Burns believes it’s time for a new chapter.

"It's too much work for one person,” Burns said. “I've worked from dawn ‘till dark for most of the 18 years. And I just, I just... My body won't let me do it anymore."

Burns decided to create "A Gift of Good Land," a contest for a lucky recipient to win the farm. But the contest is not for everyone. Burns says she is looking for a special couple who is committed to farm life.

The deadline to apply for the farm contest is June 1st, and the requirements are a 200-word essay, a resume, and a $300 entry fee.

"The first person who called said is this for real. And I said, 'yes it is,'” Burns said. “It's for real. For sure."

Burns’ phone has not stopped ringing with people calling to get more details about her farm.

Besides the house, there is a big, red barn, a large lake, and a chicken coop.

"As soon as it went out, it just kind of exploded. I've heard from people I haven't heard from in 20 years,” Burns said. “Calling and saying, ‘oh I wish I could have that farm.’ Most of them are too old. So it's just been a real surprise. A pleasant surprise."

Burns said she plans on picking 20 of the best essays and then letting a panel of judges make the final decision.

After Burns leaves her farm, she will then head up to Chapel Hill and live in a retirement community.

But the thought of saying goodbye is not easy.

"It's just been everything to me for the last 18 years,” she said.