Unfortunately, our ability to develop and integrate new K-12 teaching and training opportunities in 2023 is tied directly to our ability to raise the needed funds to operate the school farm year round. Our CSA box program provides some of the income needed, but we will need outside assistance. We believe in complete transparency, so we have attached the 2023 minimum estimated operational budget for the school farm for your review.
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Our School Farm Budget Needs
School Farm Background History
When the School Farm program was first presented to the school district, it was planned to be a gradual and ongoing development over a 5-7+ year period of time. It was understood clearly that there would be no support funding from the school district during it’s development. Although it was a huge blessing, the 5-7+ year plan did not anticipate receiving two major grants ($87k in 2020 and $40k in 2021) that reduced the development and implementation timeline to one year and helped the Growing A Future School Farm to be considered one of the leading school farm programs in the County (perhaps statewide).
This grant accelerated development and implementation of the school farm created an incredible opportunity for the K-12 students and community. However, it also created an unforeseen support challenge for ongoing operations. To operate a fully functional school farm of this size requires a paid and skilled employee to oversee its operations and the coordinating with K-12 curriculum needs. Although the program is funded through 2022, if we are to provide and maintain this program in 2023, it will require community financial and in-kind support. Unfortunately, the current budget constraints of the school district cannot provide the financial support needed.
2022-2023 Operational Timeline & Budget
Below are the historical costs, operational processes, and staff hours needed to operate the school farm. This is based on zero discounts, no in-kind donations, or volunteer labor.
October-December of 2022
$0 - We have the available funding for operational staff and in-kind volunteer support needed to complete the 2022 growing season and into the late fall.
$3,500 - Farm planting supplies & materials (seeds, fertilizer, soil, wood chips for walkways, saw dust for blueberries, tools, etc.).
$3,830 – Part-time Farm Director (18hrs/wk @ $20/hr x 8 weeks + 33% taxes). Prepare planting beds (till and cover), prepare and plant starts in greenhouse & watering, plant greenhouse and prepare irrigation lines for planting beds. Farm maintenance and weeding, coordinate volunteers and K-12 classroom integration program and curriculum.
Possible Income: After-school Middle & High School Student Programs
Total needs: $7,330
$750 – Supplies and material needs (irrigation equipment repairs/replacements, fertilizers, soil amendments, etc.)
$5,745 – Expanded hours for part-time Farm Director (24hrs/wk @ $20/hr x 9 weeks + 33% taxes). Planting beds (transfer starts to locations), expand 2nd plant starts in greenhouse & watering, install irrigation lines for each planting bed, pollinator garden, and trees and berries (18 unique beds and irrigation systems), farm maintenance and weeding, coordinate volunteers and K-12 classroom integration program and curriculum.
Income: $16,800 CSA Boxes (25 @ $42/wk for 16 weeks = $672) and vegetable starts (250 @ $3 each)
Possible Income: After-school Middle & High School students
Total needs: $6,495
Carry over Gain/Loss: $3,725 = ($11,055 reserve - $7,330 previous loss)
$750 - Supplies and material needs (irrigation equipment repairs/replacements, fertilizers, soil amendments, etc.)
$2,800 – School Farm insurance required by school district
$3,000 – Summer Interns (6 @ $500 stipends each, 8-10 wk, 11 weeks)
$10,852 – Expanded hours for part-time Farm Director (24hrs/wk @ $20/hr x 9 weeks + 33% taxes). Planting beds (transfer starts to locations), expand 2nd plant starts in greenhouse & watering, install irrigation lines for each planting bed, pollinator garden, and trees and berries (18 unique beds and irrigation systems), farm maintenance and weeding, coordinate volunteers and K-8 summer school classroom integration curriculum.
Income: $1,200 from events & supplemental produce sales
Possible Income: K-5 Summer school and/or Middle School students
Total needs: $17,402
Carry over Gain/Loss: ($12,477) = ($3,725 reserve - $16,202 loss)
$500 - Supplies and material needs (winterizing, repairs, boxes, soil amendments, etc.)
$3,352 – Part-time Farm Director (18hrs/wk @ $20/hr x 7 weeks + 33% taxes). Coordinate K-12 classroom integration programs and curriculum, fall produce food deliveries, plant harvesting, winterize school farm buildings and irrigation systems (pipes and equipment).
Possible Income: After-school programs for Middle & High School students
Total needs: $3,852
Carry over Gain/Loss: ($16,329) = ($12,477 previous loss + 3,852 loss)
Total Projected Income: $ 18,750
Total Projected Costs: $ 35,079
2023 Shortfall: ($16,329)
10% Miscellaneous: ($ 3,500)
Minimum 2023 Financial Assistance Needed*: $19,829