Wood Lane Farm receives donations of cash and labor for new shed PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Farm Editor   
Tuesday, 18 June 2013 09:16
Wood Lane staff member Jay Salvage cuts wood for a shed being built at Principal Business Enterprises for the Wood Lane Farm. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
DUNBRIDGE - The Wood Lane Farm operates at more than one location, however, one primary site is its eight acres of farm at Principle Business Enterprises, south of the village just off Devils Hole Road.
On Saturday, the Johnson Controls Northwood Plant provided both funds and labor to build tool shed for the Wood Lane Farm.
Wood Lane staff joined with the volunteers from Johnson Controls to begin construction on a much-needed shed for the Wood Lane clients who regularly work on the farm.
The building will enhance efficiency and enable workers and staff to safely store materials and equipment on-site rather than moving these from another location each day. The company presented a check to the Wood Lane Industries Board, workers, and staff in the amount of $1,000. The donation was acquired by Johnson Controls employees from the company's Blue Sky Involve program to cover material cost. In addition an additional $561 was donated through a collection of the staff members of Johnson Controls.
Scott Gilliam, health and safety director for Johnson Controls said, "Our corporate office is very happy for us to give back to the community."
The Blue Sky Involve program is designed to provide cash infusions for that purpose.
Gilliam also said he had a sentimental reason for this project as he has a special needs child. She was on site on Saturday as well.
Johnson Controls human resource manager, Yvonne Hambright was active in the construction on Saturday.
"It's always great as a team to go out into the community," Hambright said. "It takes you away from the stress of work. It's a relief for me to be outside doing something that's helpful for others."
Vic Gable, the employment services coordinator for Wood Lane Employment Services, was pleased with the match. He noted that the new shed was ideal for the Blue Sky project. He said Wood Lanes was asked to identify something which would be appropriate.
"This was perfect," Gable said.
Jessica Nagel, the agricultural project specialist for Wood Lane said the shed will be a blessing for her and those who work on the farm. She said it takes them 45 minutes a day to load and unload tools. Not only will the 12 by 16-foot shed provide them much needed storage, but also cover from the elements as needed.
"This will give us some shelter when we need to get out of the sun for a breather," Nagel said.
She said the farm employs three people each day for five hours a day. Over the course of 2012 up to 20 different people worked on the farm.
"We are very excited about this," Nagel said. "We had three things on our wish list this year, the shed, a watering system and a tractor."
All three are now or soon will be a reality.
Blue Sky Involve is a global employee-driven program that encourages Johnson Controls employees to form volunteer groups that work with local non-profits or schools to support leadership development, environ­mental sustainability and social service.
Employees at Johnson Controls in Northwood learned about Wood Lane and programs for Wood County residents as a result of the company employing an enclave of workers with disabilities at the plant. The local company completed an application to the corporate Blue Sky Involve program and received notification last month of its acceptance.
The Farm continues to provide opportunities where the community can assist in the operation as well as benefit from its operation. The site where the land is farmed is one example. "We thank Principle Business Enterprises for providing the land on which Wood Lane Farm is located, " commented Wood Lane's director of adult services Jay Salvage. "We also appreciate the support of Johnson Controls, both for assisting Wood Lane Farm and for providing employment opportunities for our workers at their Northwood facility. The tool shed will give us much more time to spend on job training activities rather than moving supplies, he added.
The Wood Lane Farm is one of the many employment options in Wood County for adults with developmental disabilities. The farm is part of Wood Lane Industries and is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. A CSA program is a farming model where community members purchase a share in advance of the growing season. The purchases of shares give the CSA the resources to help cover costs associated with the farming season. This includes but is not limited to seed purchases, labor costs, and machinery. Members of a CSA are provided with locally grown and fresh produce throughout the growing season.
For more information about the farm and its CSA, contact Wood Lane at (419) 352-5115.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 11:32

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