Levy Company Farm
The mission of Levy Company Farm is to improve the lives of displaced youth and young adults by providing safe transitional housing, continuing education, guidance, and employment.
Nationally every year an estimated 20,000 young adults "age out" of the foster care system regardless of their ability to live independently when they turn 18 years old. Within 18 months of emancipation 40-50% of these youth become homeless. 25% of former foster youth will be incarcerated within the first 2 years of emancipation. Levy Company Farm is designed to provide shelter and security, as well as structure, education and work experience within a timeframe determined on an ongoing case by case basis.
Expectations of Residents:
Applicants for residency must comply with the following:
- Must be literate
- Have no current gang ties or affiliations
- Have been sober and drug free (for 3 consecutive drug tests given no less than 3 days and no more than 1 week apart.)
- Must be willing to submit to random drug testing
- Have no criminal record of a sexually aggressive or physical nature
- Must be free of known mental or physical limitations requiring ongoing or immediate therapy or medical attention
- Must complete the application process
Residents of Levy will work toward the sustainment of the farm and to advance the effective quality of their own life, in turn improving the quality of life for the whole community. Each resident will either be a high school graduate or earn their GED while at the farm. Every effort will be made to provide an environment conducive to self-discovery, personal growth and realizing direction.
It is the hope that while living at Levy participants gain confidence, find direction, and maybe recognize a passion. If that requires additional schooling, assistance with applications and acquiring need based funding will be provided. The goal is to help every resident find fulfillment in their efforts and become a functional part of a community.
Business Development and Work Placement:
Levy Company Farm will create a committee that’s primary focus will be Business Development and Work Placement. The committee will include farm residents as well as volunteer entrepreneurs and business owners. The function of the committee will include resident work assignments and advancement as well as new business development. Levy residents will be encouraged to explore interests in terms of potential business development. Business concepts can be brought to the committee for further exploration and possible development.
For example: Farm resident Barb’s work assignment has been in livestock husbandry. She has particularly enjoyed the goats and was encouraged to try producing goats milk and cheese, which proved to be a successful endeavor for Barb. She has expressed an interest in creating and bringing her goat milk products to the local farmer’s market. So Barb brings her idea before the Committee, which then works as a think tank to help Barb develop a business plan and see her project to certainty. Such endeavors will partner the resident entrepreneur with the farm until such time that any startup loans (low interest or interest free) are repaid and any other partnership agreements met. At such time full ownership transfers to the project developer, in this case Barb.
Example two: Chris has been managing the landscape & grounds maintenance crew on the farm. She’s expressed an interest toward expanding landscaping services within the local community. This is brought to the committee for further exploration and possible development. While Chris is using the farms equipment and vehicles the farm remains a partner. As Chris expands and begins to buy her own equipment the farm lessens its percentage of ownership until Chris is the managing or sole business owner.
Property and Location:
Ideally located in WNC, Levy Company Farm would be on land zoned OU, previously all or partially used for farming, with some or all utility improvements installed. It needs to be relatively close to a central business district that ideally draws tourist traffic.
Upon development structures on the property will include:
- Main house- serving as facility office, home to the managing director, as well as computer related business and training center.
- Great Hall- constructed for heavy use, easy maintenance, and longevity, i.e.: concrete foundation is the interior flooring etc. This structure houses the kitchen and dining hall, a rec room including television, and a laundry room.
- Tiny House Community- These secured, non-mobile structures would be scattered along paths surrounding the Great Hall. Each home would facilitate two residents, full bathroom, and shared living space. The homes will not have kitchen and cooking is not permitted in the homes, but small refrigerators are included.
- Barn, with pasture and grow land
- Workshop – large enough to facilitate multiple projects, with storage cages
- Assorted necessary storage.
General means of fundraising would be developed and applied. Beyond donations, Levy Company Farm is designed to generate income through its work program and resident projects.
It is my intent to transfer ownership of business under Tina Wexler, LLC to Levy Company Farm after startup. These Internet based businesses are in ecommerce, graphic design, social media. This provides a platform to teach these skills to those residents with such interests and can help to launch additional online sales and business opportunities via resident’s projects and subsequent business plans.
Farmable land is to be in production for consumption by farm residents and to harvest product for sale. With the right location and property, the farm could develop a farmer’s market, where there can be Levy Company Farm booths, resident project booths, as well as booth space purchased by local growers and entrepreneurs.
There are many other revenue generating possibilities depending upon the size and interests of the resident population. A few of those possibilities could be: expanding the sale of farm products to other local/regional farmer’s markets or developing a retail location in business area of high tourist traffic that includes farm products, farm resident developed products, as well as other locally made products.
For additional information, please contact Tina Wexler by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.