Smile Farms grows by developing agricultural campuses in partnership with non-profit organizations that serve adults and children with disabilities. If you are interested in learning more about partnership opportunities, please check out our guidelines below
1. ACCESS TO THE POPULATION
Smile Farms' ideal partner is a non-profit organization that serves people with developmental disabilities. Our objective is to create paid work opportunities for individuals aging out of their traditional educational programs - typically at age 21+. Ultimately, our goal is to close the gap between education and employment for the developmentally disabled. We are seeking to partner with agencies whose missions align with ours.
Examples of potential partners include but are not limited to:
Vocational & Educational Programs
Young Adult/Adult Service Providers
PLEASE NOTE: We acknowledge the allure of creating a new non-profit to address the unique needs of this population. Before embarking on this challenging path, we recommend researching established organizations that serve the developmentally disabled in your area.
2. AVAILABLE SPACE
Along with access to the population we are seeking to impact, a potential partner must also have a viable space within which a farm operation can be realistically sustained. Our partner agency will make the final determination of what to grow and produce at the Farm (e.g. vegetables, herbs, annuals, perennials, etc.), but there will be some initial oversight by the Smile Farms team.
Examples of viable spaces include but are not limited to:
PLEASE NOTE: A large plot of land will certainly serve our purposes, but an efficient farm operation in place would be best.
3. A SUPPORT SYSTEM
In order for a Smile Farm to thrive, it requires a strong team dedicated to its success. Our ideal team would consist of support staff and/or job coaches for the adults with developmental disabilities as well as staff to oversee the day-to-day operations of the farm.
PLEASE NOTE: Support staff will be responsible for determining the number of hours each employee is able to work. Ideally, our employees' schedule should allow them to participate in vocational activities and NOT adversely affect their Medicaid benefits.