The entire farm is planned, planted and cultivated with the goal of supplying all the food needs for the schools. It's a fascinating thing to see all the crops at different stages, rabbits, chickens, cows, fish, etc. They continue to clear and cultivate the land.
Plans to obtain a tractor to clear land are in place. It was decided that, rather than raising money to pay the cost of having the land cleared, that money should go toward a needed piece of equipment...a tractor! It would then be available to clear more available land and help work the farm. Sounds reasonable. All we need is the tractor!
There has been much
effort in information gathering to determine what will REALLY work in terms of an Agribusiness Certificate program with training, both academic and practical that will lead to actual jobs. Much discussion is in process to determine just what that will look like.
Steve McGarry is writing the program along with Jeremy Slade, both BYU Idaho professors in Agri Economics. The plan is to have it ready for students by January, starting small and building the program.
The goal is to create a program where entrepreneurial business skills can be learned with practical experience on the school farm land but which could be applied to other businesses as well. Because cost is an issue for students, efforts are being made to qualify this program for PEF loans as well as create opportunities for the students enrolled to earn money while practicing their skills.
Additional land has been offered to be divided into small plots and made available to each student to farm, sell the produce and receive some of the profits. Plans are also in place to assist each student in either finding employment or secure a microloan upon completion of the program.
Emmanuel gave us a large, beautiful cabbage from the farm. It was the best I've ever seen or eaten...fed four missionaries cole slaw twice, as well as ourselves plus more Delicious!
The school is also preparing to offer a nursing program, first a medical aid but eventually a full program. They have set up a medical lab