WHO WE ARE
The Mission of Teens on Farms is to place every willing and able youth to work on farms and ranches, since 2009. We do everything we can to help farmers hire and place young workers on their farm. We function as the employer, handle hiring and payroll, pay the employer taxes, maintain and pay for an insurance policy, and even place the youth with volunteer mentors who help the teenagers track and manage their work skills. Teens on Farms is affiliated with a non-profit organization called Western Colorado Food and Agriculture Council.
WHY WE NEED FUNDING
In three years we have provided 4,000 hours of farm experience to youth, and the same amount of help to farmers. We have found that teenagers WANT to do this kind of work, if they are offered the choice. In fact, teenagers have volunteered, sometimes on a regular schedule for the whole summer! Each year, we raise between $3,000 and $5,000 from local organizations to support our program, but we have more teenagers apply, than we have money to place. It costs between $200 and $300 to support a youth for the summer (insurance and taxes). An additional need for funding is that many farmers need help but cannot afford to pay. Thus, we run a "scholarship" program where we pay a portion or all of the minimum wages for the youth.
SERVING A UNIQUE NEED
We provide on-demand, supervised and insured help to farmers and ranchers when they get in a "crunch", such as during haying or harvest season. They simply pay us a per-hour, per-man rate. We also provide regular, scheduled help to farmers. In exchange, the farmers pass their knowledge and experience on to the youth, directly.
This project is serving a unique need. We have partnered, collaborated, and coordinated with a number of organizations, including 4-H, FFA, CSU Extension, the local Conservation District, and local schools. We have found that no one is providing this type of service to farmers or to youth.
Education happens both ways. Farmers learn to reconnect with the younger generation. The youth, especially, learn how to develop a good strong work ethic that will carry them through their schooling and into the work force. Not to mention the amazing and helpful farming skills they learn!
OUR VISION: FROM PILOT TO PROGRAM
For three years this project has operated on a very small scale in the North Fork Valley of Delta County. The project was intended to start as a pilot, operating on thousands of hours of volunteer time and a very small budget. Many farmers are aging, and their productive farm land is being sub-divided. New people moving to the country do not understand how to manage the water and maintain the pastures, and we could help. We need to expand our program to neighboring towns and counties, while farming is still happening.
Every dollar goes to directly supporting youth on farms. Teens on Farms is a project of WCFAC, a 501c3.
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Or make Checks out to:
WCFAC, DBA Valley Food Partnership, with Teens on Farms on the memo line.
Checks can be sent to the:
Montrose Community Foundation, PO Box 3020, Montrose, CO 81402.
We will put your dollars to work, for youth and for farms, and we thank you for partnering with us in our mission.