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Farm-Based Home To Provide Opportunities

“We hope the Farm in the Dell model will aid in the preservation

of small-town Saskatchewan.”

— LYNETTE ZACHARIAS

Krista Neufeld and Lynette Zacharias are two young ladies with vision, commitment and a great deal of determination. In 2007 these two special educators became acquainted with the Farm in the Dell, a Montana-based organization which provides residential and vocational opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities in a farm setting.

After visiting the Farm in the Dell in Helena, Montana, Krista and Lynette were inspired by the positive repercussions the organization had made not only with the individuals in the facility, but also in the community at large. They were eager and excited to start a similar home back in rural Saskatchewan.

The founders of the Montana group, Susan and Lowell Bartels, came to an information meeting in Saskatoon in March 2008. The meeting generated interest, and support for a Farm in the Dell in Saskatchewan grew over the course of the year. A board of directors was formed with Krista and Lynette serving as co-executive directors of the Farm in the Dell in Saskatchewan.

On October 30, 2009, at a sod-turning on 80 acres of land near the town of Aberdeen east of Saskatoon, Krista and Lynette’s vision became a step closer to reality. With a grant from the provincial government and the support of the Saskatoon Progress Club, the first phase of the project is scheduled to begin this fall. This includes the construction of a family-friendly residence for 10 men and women with developmental disabilities, and the education and support necessary to enable these individuals to become independent and self-sufficient members of the community.

The second phase of the project will involve creating vocational work programs for the residents including a market garden, a petting zoo and a flower business. “Vocational training may lead to jobs in the community. We hope the Farm in the Dell model will aid in the preservation of small-town Saskatchewan,” says Lynette.

“The Farm in the Dell has created a coming together of many people with similar dreams of building a home for individuals with developmental disabilities. We are grateful of the community support we’ve received and excited to see what the future holds for the Farm in the Dell,” adds Krista.

Farm in the Dell is a charitable organization and will provide tax receipts for donations sent to P. O. Box 22068 RPO Wildwood, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7H 5P1.

For more information, visit www.farminthedellsask.com.

Edna Manning writes from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

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