The Urban Farm

We address the needs of young people who may have difficulty finding a "home" for their interests. We recognize that every child is potentially at risk whether from environmental, social or family conditions. We provide a safe setting with respect for people, animals, plants, and the environment.

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Field Trips

Class

Animal-Related 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Children (4-12 years)
General population

Description

An educationally focused tour program providing field trips for schools, organizations, and private parties. We offer 2 types of field trips at the Farm.
A standard field trip includes a walking tour through the farm yard. It lasts about 60 minutes and includes visiting with all the animals as well as an introduction to urban gardening in our brand-new greenhouse. Each tour is led by a trained staff member who will not only provide information about the farm but also challenge to see agriculture through an urban lens.

A custom field trip includes the same walking tour with the addition of choice of an activity. We have several custom themes.
Let's Grow! - Extra information about plant science and different cultivation techniques. For groups with more experience in science, we can dive into our aquaponics and aeroponics system.
Be a Farmer - This activity is for those who aren't afraid to break a sweat. Work alongside Farm employees to help complete a project; mucking a stall or run, scrubbing and filling water troughs, gathering eggs, painting sheds, or anything else that comes up on a farm.
To Bee or not to Bee - An experiential learning program for those who like creepy crawlies. Learn all about honey bees, the roll of pollination in agriculture, bee keeping, and see inside our custom-built hives with windows into their world.
Literature in Action - Our staff can work with you to host activities related to classic works like Omnivore's Dilemma, Animal Farm, The Jungle, The Secret Life of Bees, All Creatures Great and Small, and other works. For younger groups we read books like The Little Red Hen, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, G is for Goat, Sheep in a Jeep, and then visit the animals in the stories in person.
Cheeky Chicks - Get up close and personal with the chickens. Collect eggs, clean a coop, learn advanced information about the poultry industry. We can customize this tour with information that you want to know.
Learn with Your Heart - Get up close and personal with the goats. Encounter our baby goats on a personal level. Learn more about ruminants and what they have to offer.



Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Farm Camps

Class

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
At-Risk Populations
Children (4-12 years)

Description

We have 2 very successful programs; All Around the Farm and Storybook Farm.

In All Around the Farm students spend time with each of our animals and cover age-appropriate material for a holistic view of what we do at TUF. Included in the curriculum is Colorado Department of Education-aligned information including standards from science (biology and ecology), agriculture and natural resources, and social sciences. We explore plant science, aquaponics and animal science - which includes horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and chickens.
All Around the Farm program is part of our field trip, service learning, summer camps, and our GoWild partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver.

The field trip program is comprised of visiting classes from local schools. The teachers plan the day with our field trip coordinator who matches the curriculum we deliver with what they're learning in school. Field trips are generally 2-4 contact hours. Service learning differs from field trips in that the students also volunteer their time completing a farm chore.

The summer camp version of All Around the Farm is a five-day course that digs deeper into the content. The campers spend 15 contact hours with TUF instructors to really experience what working on a farm is like. The current age range is 7-10 years old, but has much room to expand to include older students.

The GoWild coalition is a division of the GOCO lottery fund. The GoWild Northeast Metro Coalition (NEMC) serves four neighborhoods in the northeast Metro Region: Northeast Park Hill, Commerce City, Montbello, and Northwest Aurora. There are approximately 37,000 youth age 5-24 in these target neighborhoods. The combined poverty rate for children under 18 in the neighborhoods is 38%. In these four neighborhoods, over 77% of the residents are people of color (59% Latino, 18% African American). Each Boys and Girls Club visit was 2 contact hours.

The Storybook Farm camp is geared toward young children - PreK, Kindergarten, and early elementary school. It includes one of our summer camps and our GoWild partner, Aurora Public Schools through their COMPASS program.

The COMPASS program at APS is an after-class enrichment activity that runs through the school year as well as through the summer. It is hosted at three different elementary schools within the GoWild jurisdiction.

We interact with the participants on their level, reading a story from their class and relating it to agriculture and farming. Popular selections are The Little Red Hen, The Three Billy Goats' Gruff, and Sheep in a Jeep. This takes reading - which is normally a stationary activity - and helps increase retention by including kinesthetic reinforcement and real-world context.


Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

All Around the Farm has so far in 2017 (January-July) served 1,046 youth from more than 35 different schools or organizations through the All Around the Farm program. We have also had several adult groups visit to learn about agriculture and the relationship between humans, animals, and our environment. We have served 7 groups like this totaling 67 adults.

In four months, Storybook Farm has served 120 students between our summer camps and the COMPASS program. One of the areas that is holding us back is transportation in order to expand Storybook Farm into an outreach program. TUF does not own a truck to haul our livestock trailer and portable fence panels. Often school and club bus fees are cost-prohibitive, making the trip to our campus impossible, which has had a significant negative impact on our numbers.

Volunteering

Class

Animal-Related 

Beneficiaries

General population

Description

Opportunities to volunteer are available for businesses/organizations, schools, and individuals/families. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Children/youth younger than 18 are required to volunteer with a parent/guardian or as part of a supervised group. Exceptions are granted with appropriate Waiver and Release forms for youth groups such as school classes, Girl/Boy Scouts, 4-H clubs, and other specialized groups.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Urban Agriculture

Class

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Children (4-12 years)
General population

Description

This program encompasses Aeroponics, Aquaponics, and Community Gardening.

The Urban Farm hopes to inspire excitement in students and communities for producing vegetables through learning aeroponics and aquaponics. We continue to work with both aeroponics and aquaponics systems; through experimentation we further our research, enhancing our systems and greenhouse to make these techniques attainable for people. People will gain experience with these systems, plants, fish, and the environmental factors influencing growing in the program. They will be able to grow in their schools, homes and organizations, allowing them to grow year around vegetables.
The Urban Farm (TUF) operated a hoophouse containing aquaponics for the last 6 years and a small greenhouse with the aeroponic towers for 2 years. This developed demonstration systems for alternative gardening at TUF and our ability to use these methods to offer classes. Also, from this experience TUF developed, designed, and built a greenhouse, Gomper's Greenhouse, for aquaponics and aeroponics. This green house was designed to do both research/experimentation for these systems and act as a living classroom to teach these growing techniques and continue to build an active community at TUF in alternative gardening.

Our community garden plots are leased to individuals for organic growing. Several types of classes/educational programs are offered; individual classes at nominal and free cost, courses offered in collaboration with Denver Colorado Master Gardener, and a Gardeners Choice program - an 8 course series.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Service Learning

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)

Description

This program enables students from urban schools to experience a farm setting. These trips are revelatory for many urban children who have not had an opportunity to visit a farm, interact with plants and animals in a farm setting, nor understand their own roles and responsibilities in the "farm to table" process.
Students can give back to their community by volunteering at the Farm. Activities generally include short projects, cleaning animal pens, and other farm chores. Service Learning is limited to grades 6 or above.
All opportunities include a quick tour of the Farm.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Equine Education

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)

Description

TUF is a small educational riding facility aimed at teaching horsemanship, equine anatomy and husbandry through a progressive series of levels. In collaboration with the TUF Kids program, participants have opportunities to expand their interest in the equine field through training and competitive events.
We take pride in offering a well-rounded program that is aimed at teaching all facets of both mounted and un-mounted horsemanship. Students with no riding experience start in the Beginner 1 stage and after completing this class for several consecutive sessions and completing both a skills and riding test they progress forward to the next level. Levels range from Very Young Rider (ages 5-7) all the way up to Intermediate 3/Advanced. Students must progress through the levels and are free to move at their own pace.
When a student reaches the Intermediate 1 level (kids are progressing in the Walk, Trot, Canter and more complex knowledge such as feed), they are given the option to choose the route they would like to take next in their riding endeavors. Currently, the two tracks a rider can choose from are Dressage and Jumping. On these two tracks the rider will have smaller class sizes and more in depth learning both mounted and un-mounted. These tracks are also aimed at opening the door for students to explore Equine jobs that they might be interested in the future, as well as preparing them to apply for scholarships and move on to college.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

At present, we have only observational results that show that students who stay in the program have a higher chance of staying in and graduating from college. More rigorous program success can be determined when we are able to quantitatively measure and track our biometrics of long-term success.

Youth Groups

Class

Animal-Related 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
At-Risk Populations
Children (4-12 years)

Description

There are four programs that fall under this umbrella.

TUF Kids range from 15-18 years old. They help with chores around the farm, participate in vet and farrier appointments, and assist in riding lessons with younger students and summer camps. They are our best ambassadors for the equine program and most consistent volunteers.
The TUF Kids are also heavily involved with riding competitions through IEA, the Interscholastic Equestrian Association. IEA is different from most equestrian competitions because there is no need to own a horse of your own; participants belong to a host site and ride randomly selected horses in competitions that rotate from program to program across the state. This allows students from disadvantaged families to compete on a level playing field with families who could afford their own horses.
Besides volunteering and riding on our campus, TUF Kids also participate in expeditionary trips to other ranches and rescues to volunteer in different environments and see how other programs operate. They learn new animal handling techniques and why they are implemented in different environments for a holistic equestrian education.

Next, the Jr. TUF Kids group was created this spring (June 2017) to serve the 10-14 year old population. They work with other farm animals - mostly cattle, goats, and sheep. They are developing their confidence, grit, and teamwork along with animal handling skills.
They also participate in farm chores, vet appointments, and outreach excursions. The long-term goal is that once the participants in this group are old enough to graduate to TUF Kids, that program will become more than just an equestrian group. The students will have a wider range of interests and skills to learn from each other and practice teaching their peers.
While Colorado hosts more than 50 high school FFA programs, the closest schools to Metro Denver are in Westminster, Arvada, and Englewood. Our participants don't have another opportunity to engage in agricultural education without programs like TUF Kids and Jr. TUF Kids.

Third, the Denver Diversion program also visits the farm once each week. This group is made up of 14-18 year olds within the Denver Department of Corrections. As part of their day reporting program, they spend time at TUF completing farm chores, learning about animal care, and basic math in the form of construction trades curriculum.

Finally, 4-H. The Urban Farm, in partnership with Colorado State University and CSU Extension Offices, is host to young people who undertake agricultural and environmental projects designed to give them real world experiences in food science and food production. The Farm has one of the largest 4-H programs on the front range of Colorado and is unique in the area in that it allows participants to keep animals at The Farm since few urban youth have the space or facilities to raise them at home.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

At present, we have only observational results that show that students who stay in the program have a higher chance of staying in and graduating from college. More rigorous program success can be determined when we are able to quantitatively measure and track our biometrics of long-term success.

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