Dutton Farm’s Life Skills Training Program’s purpose is to assist our members in developing critical life skills that will maximize their opportunities for greater friendships, independence and overall satisfaction. The program design will direct each individual to a more active and productive lifestyle. At the core of Dutton Farm is our Life Skills training program, which is attended by 15-25 participants at a time (about 100 per month in total).
Here at the farm, adults who have a difficult time finding employment have jobs to do, routines to follow, tasks to accomplish, and people who care about their presence. Farmers–as participants are called–help feed animals, gather eggs, harvest plants seasonally, make marketable products like honey, soaps and lotions from farm-grown items, sort and price merchandise in their thrift store, discuss local and world events, build friendships, and essentially learn about social integration. It is imperative for us to see our participants establish a sense of achievement and capability as a product of their labor. Our program’s curriculum will allow our participants to experience job training firsthand, rather than being taught from a lecture or a book. We make it a priority here on The Farm to take into account each individual’s preferences and abilities while encouraging them to stretch themselves and learn new things. We want to see each person gaining self confidence while reaching their goals and gaining the skills necessary to pursue their opportunity for greater independence.