Farming Is Essential
My name is Nadia Ruffin, MS. I am the founder / CEO of Agricademy Inc. I have always had an interest in entomology, science and agriculture which is the reason why I created this organization. Thank you so much for taking out the time to listen to my story. Here is how you can help me make a difference in the lives of youths, adults, and our community.
Agricademy Inc. is a 501c3 research institution dedicated to fostering respect and engagement into the field of Agriculture. It is so important to inspire the future generations to pursue careers in this field. Our research focus areas are agricultural biotechnology, entomology and automation technology. Since our inception in 2016 we have worked on numerous projects in farming and entomology, educated thousands of youth and provided training and education with a STEM focused curriculum to thousands online in various agricultural industries (not just the farming sector).
Our organization’s primary objective in creating this campaign is to raise enough funds to purchase much needed farming equipment for our Don’t Feed Me Teach Me Project. One item in particular that we are in dire need of is a new John Deere 2032R Compact Utility tractor equipped with tiller and other vital attachments that can accommodate several acres of land to carry out this project. Beginning in May 2020 for the next two years we will utilize several acres of land graciously granted to us by The Grailville in Loveland, OH. For this project our organization intends to demonstrate how research, online education and small scale farming can be used to create , as well as generate jobs/career opportunities in addition to the most important ever changing food supply chain that has been greatly impacted by the current state of events with COVID 19.
COVID-19, tariff wars, borders closing, stock market plummeting etc. has had and will have a huge impact on the US economy and in particular the food supply chain. Food insecurity has risen to a new prominence as the economic impact of COVID-19 takes its toll. While the effects have rippled countrywide there are certain populations suffering more than others. The COVID-19 outbreak has presented health and financial challenges for pre-existing economically depressed families, has disproportionately affected communities of color and compounded underlying health and economic disparities.
The Feed Me Teach Me project consists of two main components: 1) farming locally grown organic produce 2) an interactive online course. There is an old adage that states if you give a man a fish you can feed him for one day, teach him how to fish, and he will feed himself for a lifetime. It is our aim with this venture to be able to enable many to feed themselves, educate and sustain their families.
Food is a key essential part of everyday living, and many of us truly are unaware of the fragile infrastructure that provides us with our day to day necessities. As we have now witnessed, one change, or pandemic can affect us drastically. From grocery stores unable to supply fresh fruits and vegetables, to basic toiletries, our organization will provide viable resources to solve these ever looming issues. We have the solution. For the food production portion of the project our organization will demonstrate how small scale local farming is sustainable and will provide nourishment to our local communities. Utilizing soil and hydroponics, methods that have been proven to be sustainable and with little strain to the environment, we intend to grow a variety of plentiful crops that can be harvested in one season. Our goal is to provide many varieties and seasonal produce options like: organic leafy greens, varietal herbs, peppers, tomatoes and other items. This organic produce will be sold to individuals in the Cincinnati Tri-State area via an online delivery system for a reasonable price . It is our desired intent to extend and reach individuals who are SNAP benefit to be SNAP certified by the time the produce is ready for harvest. There are many families within the community that are at disadvantage financially, and it is imperative that we all come together to find attainable solutions for all of us to thrive. With continued research , we will implement ways to improve plant genetics, disease reduction as well as pest management in organic food production.
In the eight week online course our goal is to enroll 100 total individuals through a vetting system in two unique age appropriate cohorts (50 youth ages 10-17 years old and 50 adults 18 years old-up) these individuals will be composed from disenfranchised communities. It is our responsibility as a community to ensure that everyone has access to clean water, nutritious food, and the ability to take care of one’s own personal needs, as well as the needs of their immediate families. These courses will ensure that the future generations coming will have a well rounded understanding of the ecological, as well as environmental aspects that occur when food education is shared. The families/individuals that are interested in learning about farming but may not know how to get started, will learn valuable skill sets. In each of the cohorts, all individuals enrolled will learn about various crops, how to cultivate them in a small scale operation in soil and hydroponics, the nutritional value of those crops cultivated, animal husbandry and much more.
Our world has forever changed, and things will never be the same. This is now a great time for all of us to come together, embrace change, and make a difference in our world. By providing Agricademy Inc. with the resources we need to address these current issues, I know that with hard work, determination, and your support, we can successfully create a new world of opportunities for one and all. Please join with me, and help me reach our communities and change the lives of others.
Nadia Ruffin, MS