Madison House Autism Foundation has broken ground on a micro-farm project at Madison Fields on Big Woods Road in Dickerson.
This Micro-farm will create an entrepreneurial venture for a veteran to establish a business growing and selling greens to local markets and restaurants in the DMV area. This venture provides a turnkey opportunity for veterans to have a second chance at a new career. In turn, they work side-by-side with other veterans and individuals with disabilities, providing training and mentorship.
The program provides training, mentoring and education in agriculture operations, as well as support to prepare the veteran to be an entrepreneur or manager in areas such as market and industry research, marketing development and creation of business plans. The full project will launch by late spring/early summer.
Madison Fields, a project of MHAF, provides workforce development opportunities for adults with IDD, autism, and now, veterans. Madison Fields also offers equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with physical, emotional, cognitive and developmental challenges. Madison Fields is committed to ensuring that underserved populations have the opportunity to participate more fully in the life of the community.
This project was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, a nonprofit dedicated to rebuilding the lives of severely wounded veterans of the War on Terror. This greenhouse will be the first of its kind, a commercial endeavor where adults of all abilities, including veterans and those with I/DD will work together, develop job skills, and gain critical knowledge of the agriculture industry and business practices. We are so grateful for the tremendous jump-start the Coalition has given us to bring the greenhouse project to life.
Photos courtesy MHAF.