January 2024 Update

Happy New Year!!

The year 2023 was an amazing year for Next Step Farms. It was a year of firsts, new beginnings, and learning. The local community is hearing the story of the need and you are answering! We can only imagine what 2024 will hold!! We have some goals for 2024 that we hope YOU can help us reach!!

  • 1st – Add TWO structures to the property
  • 2nd – Bring all of our critters home
  • 3rd – Increase Client base
  • 4th – Add Sustainability Partners

1st – Additional Structures

Through grants received from Alpha Foundation ($25,000) and Crossflow Technologies ($5,000), our first structure that we will be adding is a Community Storm Shelter to the property of Next Step Farms. This shelter will house our clients, our staff, and some local neighbors on days that bad weather threatens. We are still in need of a large capacity generator to make this project complete. Our goal is to have this completed by April 1st.

With a grant from Alabama’s Mountains Rivers & Valleys RC&D ($8400) and assistance from our Community Partners at Wilson Lumber Company, we will begin our second structural addition, a shipping container barn! By June 1, we aim to have two 40-ft shipping containers moved to the property, trusses installed, and metal siding added to create additional shelter for our farm critters and storage for our equipment. We are still in need of funds to meet the cost of trusses and metal siding. We will need volunteers to assist in the construction process.

2nd – Bring all of our critters home

As of this writing, some of our critters have not yet been moved to Next Step Farms. We had hoped to have most if not all of them moved by now, but the timing has not been favorable. We have secured funds to create our pasture fence, but we need hands to stretch the fence and secure it. Our goal is to complete the main pasture fence by February 1 and the pigs and friends fence by April 1. Can you help us?

3rd – Increase Client Base

Every month, Next Step Farms has inquiries about joining our day program. Many apply and start dates are assigned. Others need assistance either through waiver programs or corporate sponsorship. Next Step Farms has been approved to be LAH/ID providers, we are waiting on the state to provide necessary documents and training before we can begin actually billing them for that service. When this is completed, we have several families sitting on “go” to start. Other families are in process or do not have the means to pursue waiver funding. These families need corporate or individual sponsors. It costs $85 a day for a client to attend our multifaceted program. Here’s a breakdown:

1 client , 1 day a week, 4 weeks in a month = $340 a month or $4080 a year
1 client, 2 days a week, 4 weeks in a month = $680 a month or $8160 a year

You can see the pattern. Can you or your company sponsor a client 2 days a week for one year?

4th – Sustainability Partners

Becoming a sustainability partner means that you commit to a monthly donation for a minimum of one year. Current sustainability partners do not have their donations allocated. Is it possible that you are holding back from becoming a partner because you want to KNOW where you money is being used? We can help with that! Some options for designated funds include- Animal Care, Culinary Education, Gardening Education, Equipment Maintenance Education. When you sign up, if general funds does not meet your heart’s desire, let us know what does. You can sign up by simply going to our website https://nextstepfarms.org/donate/, click monthly donor, complete the necessary information, and each month your account will automatically donate. If you prefer to donate through direct deposit or a check, simply email us at info@nextstepfarms.org for required information for your banking services. Become a Quart Donor ($100), Pint Donor ($75), ½ Pint Donor ($50), or ¼ Pint Donor ($25)!!!

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