Danielle (Dee) Rogers’ story
Dear Grant Committee,
My name is Danielle Rogers (Dee) and I am a Marine Corps Veteran. Since completion of my military service, 13 years ago, finding stable employment has been a challenge. Six months ago, I was invited to participate in a small-scale farming training and education program through Partners in Careers, a job training and employment services program in Vancouver, WA.
Clark County provided four of us veterans with one acre, on its 79 acre historic, farm. With classroom training and hands-on support by an experienced farmer, we grew a variety of organic vegetables – tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, spinach, squash and many more. We donated a portion of the harvest to the local emergency food system and developed markets in which to sell the rest.
This experience has improved the quality of my life. It has given me a sense of accomplishment to watch food grow from seed and to feed the local community. I have a newfound respect for the patience and perseverance it takes to produce healthy, organic food. Through spending time outside, with my hands in the soil, I feel more deeply connected with the earth. Finding the delicate balance it takes to sustain life in the ground has aided my own personal healing in the process.
Organic produce is a positive force. Dill is beneficial for lactating mothers, collard greens are a good source of vitamin C, and spinach is high in folic acid. These are just a few things I have learned about nutrition as a result of participating in this program.
My goal for the future is to continue farming. I will have some support through Partners in Careers for the next couple of years but I will be expected to take increased responsibility for growing my own business. I am seeking a grant of $1,000 to purchase supplies for the next season. My needs include the purchase of next season’s seed, soil amendments, and additional tools and supplies. Thank you for this opportunity.