Walnut Grove Vocational Farm provides innovative work opportunities and career options for adults with special needs by providing agricultural training and employment in integrated settings. The fastest-growing employment opportunities for individuals with special needs are with farms and ranches. Agriculture-related opportunities allow those with disabilities a healthy, fun, integrated, and meaningful way for them to participate and contribute to the wider community.
The Walnut Grove Vocational Farm provides an exciting and innovative program that includes individualized training programs. The project will expand and enhance options for residents with special needs of DeKalb County and the northern Illinois region. The goal is to create an active, working farm where individuals with special needs and others can come together to work, learn, and have fun on the farm while gaining hands-on work experience. Walnut Grove offers a number of activities and skills at a slower pace, making it easier for participants to adapt to their surroundings. Participants will learn valuable life skills, including:
- Greenhouse production
- Vegetable gardening production
- Livestock care and production of chickens
- Skill development in produce processing and sales
- Marketing and sales skills with vegetables
- Prairie restoration
There will be additional opportunities in the future, including the following: companion animal care, landscaping and building maintenance, flower production, commercial kitchen for food processing and preserving, metal and woodworking skills, workshops, etc.