Wilson Lumber is excited to announce a partnership with Next Step Farms to construct a large pole barn where the organization will start a day program for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Students in the program will learn job skills in a farm-theme environment, which will help them find meaningful work and live independently.
“Next Step Farms is excited to be linking arms with the Wilson Lumber family! Together, we will create a location that continues to foster an environment of learning for adults with special needs,” said Robin Kramer, founder and director of Next Step Farms. Kramer taught students with special needs for more than 25 years.
Planning for the farm began in 2019. In early 2021 Next Step Farms purchased 14 acres in the Harvest community in northwest Madison County. Much of this year has been spent clearing land and constructing fences. With Wilson Lumber’s help, Next Step Farms will build a pole barn where attendees will spend the day learning animal care, plant care, culinary techniques, data entry, basic finance, daily living skills and more.
“When we choose a community partner, we look for an organization that we can come alongside to help move them forward with their mission and goals. With Next Step Farms, we saw an opportunity to do that, so we are excited to take this next step with them and see what happens,” said Robb Wilson, President of Wilson Lumber.
Wilson Lumber will provide materials for the barn, as well as invite employees to participate in monthly workdays and other fundraisers throughout the year.
Each year the Wilson Lumber Caring team chooses a local organization with which to partner to support needs in our community. Recent partnerships have included the Downtown Rescue Mission, Lincoln Village and Kids to Love.