Do you like food?
Do you have a heart for kids?
So do we, and we're here to change all that.
What we're changing:
Kids used to play in the streets, not live on them. We're failing our youth. At ever-increasing rates, they turn to crime, drugs, and gangs to meet their physical and emotional needs.
Colorado is the third highest in the nation for youth crime. Weld County alone sees thousands of vandalisms, drug crimes, and vehicle thefts committed by youths under the age of 25.
"I just get so angry. I feel stupid. So I get high and break sh** with my friends. They're like my family." -- Dylan, 16.
These kids are often doomed to a life of crime and sub-par opportunities because they get trapped in the revolving door of the justice system.
"No one wants to hire me because of my record. I eat out of restaurant dumpsters and have to sell meth to pay my court fines."-- Miguel, 24.
How we're doing it:
We’re localizing agriculture and treating mental health concerns that lead to youth crime.
Blooming Health Farms will use aquaponics to raise fresh fish and organic, high-quality vegetables in a compact eco-friendly farm. Food free from pesticides and chemicals is sold from farm to table. We’ll be able to grow more food, for lower cost, at higher quality, than any other farm in the area.
We will employ at-risk youth ages 15 to 25, who participate in cognitive-behavioral therapy and job skills training—both of which have been proven to reduce crime and risky behaviors by 90%. Young people like Dylan and Miguel will have a place just for them. Blooming Health Farms is dedicated to increasing opportunities for families and the community.
Our model can be recreated in every community across the country and we hope to see Blooming Health Farms in every city. Not only are we solving a critical issue, but we will also create jobs and economic opportunities in underprivileged communities at the same time.
Who are we?:
Ryan Smith, Director of Programs for Blooming Health Farms holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado.
Mr. Smith has extensive experience in crisis management and specializes in the treatment of grief, trauma, and severe mental illness. Ryan has developed educational and mental health programming for various organizations and purposes and has been a Northern Colorado business owner for several years.
Sean Short, Director of Operations for Blooming Health Farms holds a Bachelor's Degree in Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology from the University of Hawai'i, and is pursuing graduate education in Systems Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Short has extensive experience in designing, building, and operating successful aquaponic farms, conducting wet chemical tests to ensure safety and quality of water, and marketing products to commercial clients.
Why we need YOU:
This campaign is a small part of a larger goal.
Our operation will require land, equipment, staff, and licensing. The $5,000 we're raising during this campaign will fund our 501(c)3 filing, business licensing, and a small grow-system so we can start sharing real results with the community.
Our next campaign aims to raise $25,000 to:
- Purchase equipment to build our first grow beds
- Increase the fish rearing capacity
- Down payment for a 60-month lease
- Draft program curriculum and begin conducting community workshops
The total amount we need for the full start-up is much bigger than the amount we're asking for at this time.