NGM Agricultural Project
The previous year, 2006, the teacher Becky Bryan, read a story to her class about a boy named Ryan who raised $1,200 for a water well in Africa. The students wondered together why they couldn’t also raise money for needy children in Africa. Becky was a dear friend of Paul and Pam Hunter. She told the classroom that she had friends who worked in Africa. Would they like to have a visit from them to investigate what they could do in a significant way to bring some change? In the last three weeks of school, that classroom collected $2,600 for a water well in Uganda!
The sixth grade class of 2007 wanted to also do something significant, but they didn’t want to copy the idea of the previous class. They choose to raise money for three high quality dairy cows to be given to worthy recipients as a means of providing income and development opportunity for a few Ugandans.
Doing something significant in the world and living for something beyond self can be contagious. Following the pattern of Heifer International, NGM gave 10 cows away until, the birth of their own farm in 2013. Paul and Pam Hunter purchased a small plot of ground as seed for this farm. That land was fenced and prepared for dairy cows. In December of 2013, due to the generous donations of some farmers in America, 10 high quality heifers were purchased and transported from Western Uganda to the NGM Farm. Additionally, other donations were given for the purchase of adjacent land.
Progressively, the farm developed as animals, staff, and buildings were added. It has been a long and challenging journey since the farm began. Mismanagement, theft by managers and employees, sabotage by surrounding villagers, and a lack of constant supervision eventually resulted in the liquidation of the animals in 2017. An alternative use of the land has been established. Nine hundred eucalyptus trees were planted in April of 2017.
This transition from cows to trees theoretically reduces the maintenance and sabotage risk. The trees will be thinned in 2019 and the two year old trees will be sold for construction poles. New seedlings will take their place. The remaining trees will be harvested between 2022 and 2024. During this five to seven year period, the maintenance should be minimal and the return should make the farm self sustaining as well as provide capital for future investment and/or provide funds for Uganda operating expenses.
If you would like to contribute in this effort, please write a check to NGM and mail it to 29940 South Dhooghe Rd, Colton, OR 07017. Please designate your donation for the NGM Farm.