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In One Ear: Buying the farm (in 350 words or less)

Alaska couple holds essay contest to ‘sell’ their farm
By Elleda Wilson

The Daily Astorian

Published on October 20, 2017 12:01AM

Want to really get away? Far, far away? The Alaska Dispatch News (ADN) reports that June and John Strothenke, who live outside Fairbanks, Alaska, are holding an essay contest to “sell” their 5-acre hobby farm, Top of the Hill (

“We were doing eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, honey, meat of all different varieties, everything that comes from the ground and garden,” John Strothenke told ADN. All those 18-hour work days added up, and “due to health and personal issues,” the couple want to retire from farming life, and spend more time with the family Back East.

To enter the contest, all you have to do is ante up a $1,000 fee, and answer this question in 350 words or less: “Why I would like to own a hobby farm in Fairbanks, Alaska.” Only 420 entries are allowed, and the deadline is Dec. 31.

A photo of the farm by Doug Lange is shown from the contest website,, where you can find all the details and rules. The couple will choose the top 20 essays, and three outside judges will choose the winner.

“We are giving the opportunity for another family to be blessed, as we were,” the couple wrote on their website, “with a slice of heaven on earth, here in Alaska’s Interior.”


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