RURAL (Rural to URban Agricultural Learning) Program

A Partnership between the Disability Action Center of Fairmont and the Homestead Farm Center, Inc., designed to provide employment and job training in agricultural education to individuals with disabilities. 

The Homestead Farm Center, Inc., located in Taylor County, and the Disability Action Center, in Fairmont, W.V., are both dedicated to supporting individuals with disabilities by offering them the opportunity to lead rich, productive, stimulating lives, and by integrating them fully into the community and the work force. In order to achieve this mission, we have developed an outdoor classroom program, entitled RURAL (Rural to Urban Agricultural Learning), which will provide the chance to work, learn, live, and thrive in North Central West Virginia and beyond.

Specific RURAL Program Lessons:

Gardening Program:
Greenhouse operation, planting seeds in raised beds, food preparation and preservation, harvesting vegetables and flowers for table and market including lettuce, beets, tomatoes, beans, peppers, squash, and other crops, and training and trimming berries, vine crops, and fruit trees.

Livestock Program: Feeding and caring for small livestock including poultry, rabbits, goats, and sheep, Gathering and cleaning eggs, preparing eggs for market, operation of an incubator and chick production

General Farm Skills: Building raised garden beds, designing and building trails, wildlife feeders, erosion control measures, composting, farm and outdoor safety, installing and maintaining fences, and weather station reading.

Rural to Urban Skills: Team work skills, citizenship, decision making skills, communication and achieving goals. Healthy Eating: Including Fresh Vegetables and Fruits in your daily meals, food preparation and preservation, volunteering in urban community gardens, and fitness and exercise programs.

Eligibility for RURAL Program:

Adults over the age of 18 with a developmental disability, including autism spectrum disorders.

Ability to complete a 12 week summer work and outdoor learning program. The program operates from 8:30 to 3:30 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Each RURAL participant will receive a $10/day stipend for their work and participation in the program.

Ability to work as part of a team, in the outdoor climate, and perform farm chores.

Visit homesteadfarmcenter.org to learn more about the RURAL program and other exciting partnerships.