Groundwork's Young Farmers Program

$1,060 of $65,000 goal

Raised by 10 people in 21 months
Nick DeMarsh
for Groundwork Milwaukee Inc
 MILWAUKEE, WI
Groundwork's Young Farmers Program builds community through urban agriculture entrepreneurship - while fostering summer time literacy and healthy lifestyles.

What we do: Elementary and Middle School aged Young Farmers learn to grow and sell vegetables door–to-door in their neighborhood – in the process growing community - and local food systems.

We have 3 goals for growing the program:

·  Open slots for more youth by hiring an assistant

·  Offer monthly family meals during the school year

·  Expand horizons the Young Farmers with a field trip 
 
Program Overview

Our educational philosophy is based on the idea that if you own the experience it is more meaningful to you.

In this case, since we're working in a garden, being a part of the entire process from - seed to harvest to sale is critical. To make this work the program is unlinke most garden programs where kids stop in on a semi-regular basis. Instead, this is for a specific number of youth who commit to attending regularly.

Young Farmers are paid for their work. They keep money earned during every weekly farm stand and receive a stipend at the end of the growing season to reward their commitment to regular attendance. This funding helps families pay for school supplies and back to school clothes, providing financial assistance for families and helping youth earn a sense of pride in items that they buy through their hard work.

We promote literacy through weekly readings about gardening and food system related topics. Youth are engaged in reading on a weekly basis and are motivated to read because they can apply what they learn to their work in the garden. This helps address the summer slide – in which students fall behind in literacy skills during the summer months. Regular attendance ensures that they continue developing reading skills throughout the summer.

The program is based on the vision of youth. The program started out of a desire for the original Young Farmer Participants to “be their own boss.” Based on their vision, we started a unique garden program incorporating youth entrepreneurship in 2011. We  continue to incorporate innovations inspired by youth such as canoe delivered CSA boxes, bike delivered produce and door-to-door sales.

Youth are leaders for each other because returning Young Farmers teach newer Young Farmers. They are also leaders in their community. Young Farmers sell their produce in their community - creating a stronger sense of community and wellness in their neighborhood – this shows that young people can transform their community for the better.

Plans for 2018 : 


Program capacity expansion: Every summer, youth from the area ask to join the program. Because of funding constraints we have only able to accept youth from our existing group of Young Farmers. Still, eager participants offer to volunteer for a day or two to get to know the program. We are seeking to open slots for these young people who volunteered last summer, so that more youth can participate in growing food in their neighborhood and learn from the returning Young Farmers.

In the summer of 2016 we also piloted a Young Farmers Program in Sherman Park, in partnership with the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club. We plan to continue to build this program this summer and will incorporate vegetable delivery by bike in partnership with Bublr bikes to area residents.

 Field Trip: We plan to bring the Young Farmers from both sites (Metcalfe Park and Sherman Park) on a field trip to Wellspring Organic Farm and Education Center. At the farm, Young Farmers will learn how farmers operate on a larger scale, will help to feed the animals, and enjoy a meal with ingredients from the site right on the farm. The field trip provides a valuable opportunity to get out of the city and expand the horizons of the youth. 

Family meals: To maintain engagement with the Young Farmers throughout the school year - we are planning to work with UWM’s Nutrition Science Program to incorporate monthly family meals for Young Farmers and their family members. The family meal is a nutrition and cooking class – that involves easy, home made recipes with healthy ingredients. Each month will cover a different nutrition topic. Most importantly, the meals provide us an opportunity to stay connected to each other and the healthy lifestyles developed  during the summer months.

Campus visit: The family meal experience will culminate with a family meal at UWM’s campus in April of 2018, at UWM’s Nutrition Science kitchen classroom. The trip will also include a tour of campus to expose the Young Farmers to the college - as they look to their future.

Any amount that you can donate helps to grow our opportunities for our young farmers.

To recognize those able to contribute at the $75 or above - we will offer you the following in recognition of your generous donation:

 Donation at: $75
·         DVD of ‘Planting Seeds’ a Wisconsin Film fest nominated documentary-short about the Young Farmer Program

 Donation at: $100
·         ‘Planting Seeds’ DVD
·         Groundwork Tote Bag
 
Donation at: $250
·         ‘Planting Seeds’ DVD
·         Groundwork Tote Bag
·         Strong Roots T-Shirt

 Donation at: $500
·         DVD of ‘Planting Seeds’
·         Strong Roots T-Shirt
·         Groundwork Tote Bag
·         Hand-made thank you card from the Young Farmers themselves

 Donation at: $1,000
·         ‘Planting Seeds’ DVD
·         Strong Roots T-Shirt
·         Groundwork Tote Bag
·         Hand-made thank you card from the Young
Farmers themselves
·         Acknowledgment and thank you in ending credits of ‘Planting Seeds’

Donation at: $2,500
·         ‘Planting Seeds’ DVD
·         Strong Roots T-Shirt
·         Groundwork Tote
·         Hand-made thank you card from the Young Farmers themselves
·         A garden box built in your name or in the name of a loved one – with name engraved in the box
·         Acknowledgment and thank you in ending credits of ‘Planting Seeds’

Donation at: $5,000+
·         ‘Planting Seeds’ DVD
·         Strong Roots T-Shirt
·         Groundwork Tote
·         Hand-made thank you card from the Young Farmers themselves
·         A garden box built in your name or in the name of a loved one – with name engraved in the box
·         Fruit tree planted in honor of you or a loved one at the garden
·         Acknowledgment and thank you in ending credits of ‘Planting Seeds’ – listed as major program sponsor
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Update 5
Posted by Groundwork Milwaukee
9 months ago
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We're honored and excited to have our documentary featured at the Urban Affairs Association Conference this Friday in Toronto! https://2018uaaannualconference.sched.com/event/DdFW
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Update 4
Posted by Groundwork Milwaukee
19 months ago
   Share
So close to $1,000...who can help us get to the next level? Support our Young Farmers doing amazing work in the Metcalfe Park and Sherman Park neighborhoods!
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Update 3
Posted by Groundwork Milwaukee
20 months ago
   Share
The word is getting around about our Young Farmers. The first program of this type in this city. One that puts youth in the drivers' seat to make a positive change in their community by building healthy, neighborhood based food systems. 5 years on and we are still growing. Thank you to everyone for your support and for spreading the word!
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Update 2
Posted by Groundwork Milwaukee
20 months ago
   Share
Our young farmer program was featured in the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. Great exposure of the young farmers' work in the community! http://milwaukeenns.org/2017/05/08/film-on-young-farmers-program-highlights-youth-planting-seeds-in-community/
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$1,060 of $65,000 goal

Raised by 10 people in 21 months
Created April 14, 2017
Funds raised will benefit:
Groundwork Milwaukee Inc
Certified Charity
+ Learn More
Milwaukee, WI
EIN: 320182692
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PS
$50
Paul Sprinkmann
9 months ago
$10
Anonymous
19 months ago
GH
$50
Glenna Holstein
19 months ago
BB
$25
Bradley Brozynski
19 months ago
$250
Anonymous
20 months ago
$50
Margaret Thom
20 months ago

Help young Milwaukeeans learn to grow food, run a business and work together this summer - while providing their community with fresh, healthy foods. Sounds important and needed! Sign me up!

JD
$25
Justin Dahmer
20 months ago
AE
$100
Abigail Edgar
20 months ago
TK
$250
Thomas Kleewein
21 months ago

Thank you for your presentation at Outpost for Milwaukee Talks Green!

$250
Anonymous
21 months ago
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